Violates international law by intercepting Syrian commercial airliner with F-16s

Source: Paul Joseph Watson

Confirmation that Turkey is hell bent on provoking conflict with Syria that could easily escalate into a regional war arrived last night when the Turks intercepted a Syrian commercial airliner bound for Damascus, falsely claiming the plane was carrying military equipment.

Despite the fact that the Turks could have asked to inspect the plane’s cargo and had it land in Turkey by consent, they instead chose to unleash a show of force by having Turkish Air Force F-16 jets aggressively intercept the plane and force it to land in Ankara as soon as the airliner crossed into Turkish airspace.

The airliner was en-route from Moscow with 30 passengers, 17 of which were Russian. Russia reacted angrily to the incident, saying it was refused access to the citizens for 8 hours and that their lives were put in danger.

Turkey initially claimed it had intelligence suggesting weapons were on board the plane but later admitted that all it had seized was communications equipment. Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu claimed the confiscated equipment was “illegal cargo,” a term that was later watered down to “objectionable” cargo.

According to passengers, masked men boarded the plane when it landed and proceeded to beat four people.

Turkey flies three commercial planes to Damascus and Aleppo every single day, but Syria has never even requested to inspect their cargo, never mind force them to land with fighter jets.

Syrian Air director Abdel Latif told Russia Today that Turkey had violated international regulations by intercepting the plane with no warning.

“This will only hurt the Turkish side. We did not receive any preliminary request to detail the cargo onboard the plane; we were forced to land by military fighters. If we received such a request, we would have replied to it,” said Latif, adding that the move was a violation of the Convention on International Civil Aviation and that complaints would be filed.

Imagine if Syria had engaged in such hostilities by intercepting a commercial airliner from a NATO-aligned country that was traveling through its airspace and then having masked men beat up passengers. NATO would immediately respond by imposing a no fly zone over Syria and the “humanitarian” bombardment would begin in earnest.

According to Israeli intelligence outlet DebkaFile, forcing NATO to impose a no fly zone over Syria is precisely Turkey’s aim. This is the primary reason why Turkey keeps launching hostile attacks against Syria in an effort provoke Assad’s regime into a response.

Turkey has already carved out a 10-kilometer buffer strip on Syrian land by means of artillery attacks that have been ongoing for weeks.

“A high-placed US source confirmed to DEBKAfile that Turkey had, by forcing a Syrian civilian Airbus A320 plane en route from Moscow to Damascus to land in Ankara and declaring Syrian airspace “unsafe,” taken the first step toward creating a no-fly zone over Syria,” states the report.

This follows last week’s incident when Turkey accused Syria of firing mortar rounds into Syrian territory. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan instantly seized upon the opportunity to demand that the United States have its air force impose a no fly zone over Syria, which as we saw with Libya is a euphemism for air bombardment.

Turkey lied to the UN when it claimed Syria had accepted responsibility for the incident, when no such admission of guilt had been made.

Using hostile actions by Turkey as a foundation on which to build consensus for a military intervention in Syria wasoutlined in a Brookings Institution report earlier this year, which admitted that “humanitarian” concerns were a mere ruse for achieving regime change.

Yesterday, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that a contingent of U.S. troops would be sent to the Jordanian border over fears that Assad’s regime could turn to its arsenal of chemical weapons. As observers have previously highlighted, this is another potential false flag pretext NATO powers will utilize in order to justify a military assault on Syria.