MOSCOW — 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.
This citizen journalism image provided by The Syrian Revolution Against Bashar Assad which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian rebels, right, standing near a damaged warplane, at Abu Dhour military airbase after it fell due to clashes with rebels, in the northern province of Idlib, Syria, Tuesday April 30, 2013. In the north, rebels besieged military airport facilities, including Kweiras northeast of Aleppo city and the Nairab military base, adjacent to Aleppo's civilian airport, the country's second largest. Activists in Syria, who are part of the Observatory's network of informants, also reported clashes around an air base in northern Idlib province and near air bases in the provincial capital of Dier el-Zour in the oil-rich province in Syria's east, along the border with Iraq. (AP Photo/The Syrian Revolution Against Bashar Assad)
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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