The Straits Times
Published on Oct 12, 2012

Syria, Turkey trade accusations over jet's cargo


DAMASCUS (AFP) - The war of words between Syria and Turkey escalated on Thursday when Ankara said it had found military supplies on a passenger plane it intercepted en route between Moscow and Damascus.

The Syrian foreign ministry accused Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan of lying after he said the jet had been carrying "equipment and ammunition shipped to the Syrian defence ministry" from a Russian military supplier.

France warned of the risks posed by the rising tensions between the two neighbours, which have exchanged fire over their border in recent days, amid fears that the Syrian civil war could ignite broader regional conflict.

Inside Syria, the fighting raged on, with least 87 Syrian soldiers reported killed over the day, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights - the heaviest military toll since the start of the conflict.