ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish state-run TV station TRT reports that Turkey has forced a Syrian passenger plane to land at an Ankara airport.
TRT says the Airbus A320 coming from Moscow was intercepted by F-16 jets Wednesday as it entered Turkish airspace and escorted to the capital’s Esenboga Airport.
The station reported that the plane was suspected of carrying heavy weapons to Damascus.
A Turkish Foreign Ministry official confirmed that a Syrian plane was forced to land in Ankara, and that authorities were “inspecting the plane" but would not provide further information.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s top general warned of a tougher response if Syrian shells continue to land on Turkish soil following six days of retaliatory barrages by his forces against President Bashar al-Assad’s army.
General Necdet Ozel, chief of the Turkish general staff, made the comments Wednesday as he inspected troops in Akcakale as well as the border town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, CNN-Turk television said.
“If it continues, we will make a stronger response," the NTV television website quoted Ozel as saying about the shelling. “We retaliated immediately, we also inflicted losses."