People gather atop the aircraft steps at a Syrian passenger plane that was forced by Turkish jets to land at Esenboga airport in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) -- Syria's state-run news agency SANA says Syria decided to ban Turkish Airlines flights from Syrian airspace.
SANA sent the announcement to reporters in a text message late Saturday, but did not elaborate.
The decision came three days after Turkey intercepted a Syrian passenger plane en route from Moscow to Damascus and seized what it said was military equipment on board.
Tensions between the neighbors have been rising since the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad erupted 19 months ago.
Turkey sides with the rebels, providing political support and a rear base. Turkey has also begun retaliating for stray Syrian shells and mortar rounds hitting Turkish soil.
ISTANBUL (AP) -- Turkey's prime minister is blasting the U.N. Security Council for its failure to agree on decisive steps to end the 19-month civil war in Syria.
At an international conference in Istanbul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH'-jehp TY'-ihp UR'-doh-wahn) says the world is witnessing a humanitarian tragedy in Syria while two nations veto resolutions pressuring Damascus to end the conflict. Erdogan says waiting for Russia and China to support the resolutions will doom Syria.
He spoke as Turkey's foreign minister met with Arab and European leaders. The foreign minister told reporters that Turkey is prepared to use force again if it is attacked, as happened last week when a shell fired from Syria killed five Turkish villagers.
In the past week, Turkey intercepted a Syrian plane and seized what it says was military equipment on board. Syria denounced the move as air piracy, while Russia said the cargo was radar parts that complied with international law.
Germany's foreign minister voiced support for Turkey today but cautioned that the situation between Turkey and Syria could quickly escalate, likening it to a "wildfire" that could devastate the entire region.
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