Iran Cargo Plane Forced to Land in Turkey for Second Time in a Week

Turkish security forces inspect airplane en route to Syria; last week similar plane was released after Turkish authorities said it had been cleared of holding illegal cargo.

A second Iranian cargo airplane en route to Syria was forced to land in Turkey for an inspection, Turkish security services reported Sunday. This is the second forced landing of an Iranian plane in Turkey in the last week.

Turkish authorities reported that the civilian airplane, an Ilyushin model, was forced to land on Saturday night in Diyarbakir, which is in the country's southeast. According to the report, fighter jets were on hand in case the aircraft's crew refused to comply with the Turkish authorities' order to land.

Iranian cargo plane

Turkish security forces added that during the inspection the authorities will examine the contents of the plane, with the intention of discovering any military equipment that may be on board.

This report comes after an Iranian cargo plane was forced to land in southeast Turkey late last Tuesday, on suspicion it was carrying weapons to Syria.

The plane, which was en route from Tehran to Aleppo in northern Syria, departed Turkey on Wednesday after a team trained in chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear cargo from the Civil Defense Directorate inspected and found nothing illegal on the plane, the state-run Anatolian news agency reported.

The first forced landing occurred on the same day Israeli naval commandos seized a cargo ship in the Mediterranean Sea carrying what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said were Iranian-supplied weapons intended for Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.