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Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency Bans Airlines From Flying Over Syria
By Daniel Baxter

May 1, 2013 - Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency sent a recommendation to airlines not to use Syrian airspace for flights and it has banned its air carriers from flying over Syria to avoid an unspecified threat from Syrian ground forces. 

The Federal Air Transport Agency has reported that a number of airlines, serious about the issue of the safety of its passengers, have stopped flying in Syrian airspace. However, some carriers have not heeded to the advice and continued to operate in Syrian airspace were hostilities are running high and ground and surface to air missiles are being used. 

The Federal Air Transport Agency, also known as Rosaviatsiya, is the Russian government agency is responsible for overseeing the civil aviation industry in Russia. Its headquarters are in Moscow. 


In order to ensure the safety of passengers and crew members of civil aircraft of the Russian Federation, the Federal Air Transport Agency sent a directive to ban the use of airspace Syrian Arab Republic. Territorial authorities Rosaviation was instructed to strictly control execution of the directive until further notice. The Federal Air Transport Agency believes that the security of its citizens using the services of Russian airlines must outweigh commercial interests. 

“In this regard, there was a statement about the alleged threat of infringement of the rights of passengers in connection with the introduction of the ban, it is appropriate to recall that, in 2001, during the exercise air defense anti-aircraft missile over the Black Sea was hit by a Tu-154 plane of one of the Russian airlines. So talking about the possible implications for the safety of civil aircraft in the duration of the actual combat is not necessary”. 

The U.S. and the world continue to watch as the events unfold in Syria with allegations of chemical weapons use and an uptick in bombings. In the capital, Damascus there is less shelling and fewer fighter jets flybys and the streets are relatively calm. 

Syria has blamed the rebels, "terrorists" for trying to overthrow the government and bring down President Bashar al-Assad. The rebels lay blame on the government for the bombings in the capital. It’s frustrating for the Syrians as they are hopeful for international intervention. President Obama has indicated that the United States will wait until it has more information on the evidence of chemical weapons use.



Obama said “The United States doesn't yet know how they were used, when they were used, who used them…. “When I am making decisions about American national security and the potential for taking additional action in response to chemical weapons use, I have to make sure I have the facts." 

On Sunday rebel fighters “Free Syrian Army” attacked several military airports. Opposition activist Jehad al-Hamwwi said "Fighter planes have caused many deaths, so we want to end any such thing as military air power." Syrian’s Military and rebels have been battling control over Idlib's Abu al-Zhuhoor military airport one of the few places in the opposition dominated province from which government forces can still inflict damage. Fighter planes and helicopters are bing used from al-Zhuhoor airport to bomb Idlib and nearby communities.

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