Turkey Forces Another Plane Bound for Syria to Land

And White House finds most arms sent to rebels end up in jihadists' hands

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 15, 2012 7:29 AM CDT

(Newser) – Turkey forced another Syria-bound plane to land today, but the Armenian plane was allowed to continue to Syria after its cargo—humanitarian aid—was searched, Reuters reports. Last week, Turkey forced down a jet en route to Syria from Russia, claiming it held weapons for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has found that most of the weapons Saudi Arabia and Qatar are sending to Syrian rebels are ending up in the hands of "hardline Islamic jihadists," the New York Times reports today. That's in contrast to the White House's desire to support the country's secular opposition groups.

"The opposition groups that are receiving the most of the lethal aid are exactly the ones we don’t want to have it," says one American official. The finding calls into question whether the US, by not directly intervening in Syria, is helping to ensure a future democracy there, or whether the end result will actually be more powerful anti-US insurgents. The findings come as Mitt Romney sharpens his attacks on President Obama's foreign policy—in a major speech last week, Romney promised to see that Syrian rebels "who share our values" are armed, though he didn't go so far as to say the US would be the one arming them. Click for more from the New York Times.

The Armenian plane that was forced to land, at Erzurum Airport, eastern Turkey, Monday, Oct. 15, 2012.
The Armenian plane that was forced to land, at Erzurum Airport, eastern Turkey, Monday, Oct. 15, 2012.   (AP Photo)
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