Turkey, Syria Trade Airspace Bannings as Tensions Rise

Turkey Says Move in Response to Russian Flight

Though the timing of the two announcements to the public was somewhat murky and it isn’t clear which actually happened first, Turkey and Syria have both announced that they are banning one another’s civilian aircraft from their respective airspaces.

Turkey delivered a message to Syria yesterday indicating their intention to impose such a ban but didn’t announce it until today. Turkey says the move is in response to last week’s downing of a Syrian civilian flight from Russia, on which they claim to have found “objectionable materials.” Russia says all cargo on the plane was legal under international law, though they conceded some may be “dual use.”

Syria announced their own banning today as well, apparently after the Turkish government informed them but before they informed anyone else, saying the move was “in accordance with the principle of reciprocity.”

Once close allies, Syria and Turkey have seen their relation disintegrate during the Syrian Civil War, with Turkey openly backing rebel factions and Syrian artillery fire recently straying across the border into Turkey.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.