Russia bars planes from using Syrian airspace

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Associated Press

Posted on April 30, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 30 at 11:04 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has banned its airlines from flying over Syria after a civilian plane was reported to have come under an unspecified threat in Syrian airspace.

The ban was announced Tuesday by the state air transport agency, Rosaviatsiya.

The previous day, the Transport Ministry said the crew of a Nordwind charter flight carrying 159 people from the Egyptian resort of Sharm-al-Sheikh to the Russian city of Kazan saw war activities on the ground that endangered the plane. The aircraft landed in Kazan safely.

Russian officials did not describe Monday's threat, but Rosaviatsiya's statement noted that some airlines "continued to operate in the airspace of the country in which hostilities are using missiles."

Russia has steadfastly supported the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad as it battles an armed rebellion.

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