Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Turkey Intercepts Arms Shipments to Hizballah!

Turkey has forced down 5 Iranian and 1 Syrian aircraft on suspicion of transporting arms to Hizballah. The last airplane to be intercepted reportedly landed in Diyarbakir airport last Thursday (August 17th) at 18:30. The first interception reportedly took place on July 20th, and was instigated by U.S. intelligence reports and satellite imagery showing the loading of missile launchers and missiles onto a plane destined for Damascus. The U.S. government reportedly pressured the Iraqi government into denying the plane entry into its airspace thereby forcing it to divert to Turkey. Upon requesting entry into Turkish airspace the Iranian plane was given approval given it would submit to a cargo search at Diyarbakir airport, it refused and returned to Iranian territory.
Below is an excerpt from the DailyStar article I first read this in:
"…a Turkish daily reported Monday that Turkish authorities have prevented five Iranian airplanes and a Syrian aircraft from flying into Lebanon, suspecting them of transporting arms to Hizbullah.

The Turkish newspaper reported that one of the aircraft Ankara forced to land at the Diyarbakir airport in eastern Turkey belongs to a private Iranian airline. According to Hurriyet and other reports in Turkish media, the aircraft was not allowed to leave Diyarbakir for Lebanon, after US intelligence reports indicated the plane carried three missile launchers and containers with Chinese C-802 land-to-sea missiles, identical to the missile that hit an Israel Navy battleship in July.
The detained aircraft entered Turkish airspace after having been prevented from flying over Iraq. Turkish authorities would not elaborate on whether these actions are part of a new policy. It is believed that Ankara has acquiesced to American and Israeli requests to impose stricter surveillance on the passage of Iranian aircraft and their cargo."
Turkey is one of the nations being heavily engaged by the international community in the hopes that it will contribute troops to the UN Multinational Force to be deployed in southern Lebanon.


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3 comments:

  1. The only credible potential UN force will come from Turkey. When Turkey gets mad over Syria's policies, the alawite regime gives up and declares defeat. This was done over and over in the past, espcially with the issue of Ojalan.
    For that reason, Syria is mounting an anti turkey campaign in Lebanon using Lahoud and the pro-syrian regime tashnak party to oppose potential turkish troops in Lebanon. The regime in Syria knows very well that UN foces supported by Turkey will not tolerate foolish behavior and will respond swiftly with painful consequences.

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  2. Anonymous8:37 AM

    How can you explain the Turkish PM's visit to Turkey last week and the joint statement he issued with the Syrians saying they welcomed a Turkish contribution to the UN force?

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  3. To threaten bashar against foolish future acts if Turkish troops deploy. It seems the message got through.

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