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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Armenian Humanitarian Aircraft Lands in Aleppo

RIA Novosti

06:59 16/10/2012 YEREVAN, October 16 (RIA Novosti) - An Armenian aircraft carrying humanitarian aid for Syria has landed in the northwestern Syrian city of Aleppo, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said.

On Monday Air Armenia’s aircraft landed at Erzurum Airport in Turkey’s east to be searched by Turkish authorities. Ankara said it was a routine landing in line with reached agreements.

The Turkish authorities had granted permission for the flight over its territory on condition it was inspected at Erzurum. After that, the transport plane continued its flight onward to Aleppo.

Syria is home to a large Armenian diaspora community of around 80-100,000 people, of which 50-60,000 live in Aleppo.

The plane was carrying sunflower oil, jam, peas, caviar, rice, sugar, flour and macaroni, Turkish website Airporthaber said.

Relations between Armenia and Turkey have been tense over a number of issues, including the genocide of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in 1915-23 and Turkey’s attempts at its denial.

Relations between Turkey and Syria aggravated in early October, when artillery fire from Syria killed five and injured 11 people in Turkey.

On October 10, Turkish F-16 fighter jets forced a Syrian A320 on a Moscow-Damascus flight to land at an airport in Turkey, after which it was searched for several hours. The Turkish authorities removed 12 boxes of cargo, which media reports quoted the authorities as saying contained electronic components for air defense radar systems.

Russia denied having sent any weapons or military equipment on that flight.

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