"All civilian flights in Syrian airspace have been stopped since it is no more safe," the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement Wednesday night.
The 35-passenger Airbus A320 flying from Moscow to Damascus was suspected of carrying weapons on board and its cargo compartment has been subjected to security checks by Turkish officials. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, interviewed by Turkey's state-run TRT television in Athens, said later that the plane was forced to land by Turksih F16 fighters because of information that it may be carrying "certain equipment in breach of civil aviation rules."
Meanwhile, Turkish authorities declared the Syrian airspace to be unsafe and were stopping Turkish aircraft from flying over the civil-war torn country, the Foreign Ministry said.TRT television said a Turkish plane that had already taken off for Saudi Arabia made a detour and landed at a Turkish airport.
Tensions between the countries have been high since a Syrian shell killed five civilians across the border last week followed by daily artillery exchanges.