BEIRUT

Middle East

Turkey bars Syrian civilian flights

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul on October 13, 2012. AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC

ANKARA, Turkey: Turkey's foreign minister says the country has barred its air space to Syrian civilian flights.

Ahmet Davutoglu said Sunday that Turkey had made the decision because the Syrian regime, which is battling an insurgency, was "abusing" civilian flights by transporting military equipment.

He says Syria's government was notified of the decision on Saturday.

Last week, Turkey forced a Syrian plane to land and confiscated what it said was military equipment on board. Russia said the plane was carrying spare radar parts, while Syria accused Turkey of piracy.

Syria announced Saturday that it was closing its air space to Turkish flights. But Davutoglu said Sunday: "the Syrian announcement has no value for us.

 

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