Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Turkey Forces a Syria-Bound Plane From Moscow to Land, NATO to help Turkey
Turkey Forces a Syria-Bound Plane From Moscow to Land: Turkish F-16 jets forced a passenger plane traveling from Moscow to Damascus to land yesterday after intelligence reports said it was carrying cargo banned by civil aviation rules, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.
The plane was carrying about 30 passengers and some cargo that it didn’t report, Davutoglu said in an interview broadcast by TGRT television from Athens, without specifying what the equipment was.
U.S. secret mission sent to Jordan for controlling Syrian chemical weapons: Syrian opposition fighters have taken control of Maarat al-Numan, a strategic town in Idlib province on the highway linking Damascus with the commercial hub of Aleppo, activists say.
"Regular forces pulled back from all of their checkpoints around Maarat al-Numan, except for one at the entrance of the town," Rami Abdel Rahman, a UK-based activist who gets information from a network of sources on the ground in Syria, said on Tuesday. "This is a strategic location on the route from Damascus to Aleppo. All the regime reinforcements headed to Aleppo must pass through Maarat al-Numan.
U.S. secret mission sent to Jordan for controlling Syrian chemical weapons: The secret mission, led by a senior American officer, will also help in handling the estimated 180,000 Syrian refugees who have crossed the border and are severely straining the country’s resources, the report said. The task force is based at a Jordanian military training center built into an old rock quarry north of Amman.
NATO will 'protect and defend Turkey' if Syria launches an attack, says head of alliance Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO will support Turkey if it is attacked by Syria. Tensions have been escalating since Syrian shells struck a border town in Turkey killing five civilians last week. Syria's revolt against President Bashar al-Assad threatening to draw in regional powers.