First Armenian Relief Plane Lands in Aleppo

The relief plane en route to Syria

ALEPPO, YEREVAN—The first plane carrying relief supplies to Syria from Armenia landed safely at the Aleppo airport Monday after stopping for a scheduled inspection in Erzerum, organizers reported.

The plane carrying supplies that were gathered from donors in Armenia and Artsakh under the “Help Your Brother” campaign spearheaded by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation was operated by AIR Armenia company.

Turkish and international media organization reported the plane’s layover in Turkey as a forced landing, but organizers and the Armenian foreign ministry clarified that the landing in Erzerum was agreed to by both sides.

The relief plane at the Erzerum checkpoint

ARF Parliamentary bloc member and coordinator of the “Help Your Brother” campaign Vahan Hovannesian told reporters that the plane was scheduled to be checked in Aintab, but the cargo monitoring was later diverted to Erzerum.

“There was nothing out of the ordinary about the landing in Turkey,” said Hvannesian. Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tirgan Balayan also confirmed that landing in Turkey was prearranged.

“We received the permission with one precondition: the airplane must land in one of the Turkish airports for cargo search,” said AIR Armenia’s Arsen Avetisyan, adding that the company itself gave consent to landing at Erzurum airport.

Sources in Armenia stated that the “Help Your Brother” initiative, with assistance from the governments of Armenia and Artsakh, included humanitarian supplies such as food, clothing, medical supplies and other essentials donated by Armenians or purchased through donations gathered from the people of Armenia and Artsakh.

While the assistance is a humanitarian effort from the people of Armenia to the people of Syria, the materials that arrived on Monday will be distributed through the Armenian Community Emergency Aid Coordinating Body and the Syrian Red Crescent.

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4 Comments

  1. facts said:

    Armenian is too idyll!
    Armenia should ask Iran and Iraq for permission to send troops to Aleppo in order to protect Armenian community and Armenian interest from Turkish attacks and Turkey (and its bands). Beside this Armenian should negation with Lebanon special term and conditions- troops could get needed support (food etc) from Armenian community in Lebanon could serve as a bridge between Aleppo and Yerevan!

  2. John-Emmanuel Shirajian said:

    A great gesture of humanity and solidarity. This action will cement the relationships between the motherland and the diaspora. Thanks to all who made this endavour possible. My hope in the future to see Armenian relief planes going all over the world helping Armenians and non-Armenians alike. Again our gratitude to those who worked hard to make this trip possible.

  3. Zareh said:

    why couldn’t the plane pass through Iran then to Iraq and then to Aleppo. All three countries are friendly to Armenia and would have spared us the embarassment of having an Armenian plane be “forced” to land in Turkey for inspection. And if Armenia was gong to send any weapons to Syria it sure would not have sent it using the Turkish airspace.
    Sometimes I wonder how the Turks dominated the Middle East for 500 years.
    I am of the strong belief that Armenia should send military equipment to Syria and give defensive weapons to the Syrian Armenians. Turkey is in war with the Armenians by destroying the vibrant Armenian community in Aleppo through the hands of fundamentalist Salafis and the Al-Qayida. This is the extension of the Armenian liberation movement of the last century and the present Artsakh liberation struggle. Turkey and NATO have declared war on Armenians world wide and it is our right to defend every single Armenian wherever they exist. Armenia should withdraw its affiliation in all NATO partnership for peace agreements immediately and befriend the enemies of Turkey namely Iran, Iraq, Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Bulgaria and Serbia.
    Enough kidding ourselves. Obama has not seen one official Armenian delegation in the White House for four years in spite of getting over 99% of the Armenian vote in 08.
    Vote for Romney. At least you will pay less taxes and keep more of what you earn.
    Neither one will recognize the Genocide in the foreseeable future.

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