The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has “barred” all U.S. airlines from flying over Syria due to a “serious potential threat.”
The FAA said Syrian airspace is be avoided and carriers should contact the FAA in the event that the airspace must be entered.
According to NDTV, the announcement is the result of an “updated assessment of risk” combined “with a lack of airlines wishing to fly in the airspace” to begin with. The FAA released a statement saying: “The ongoing armed conflict and volatile security environment in Syria poses a serious potential threat to civil aviation.”
The current conflict between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and opposition forces has resulted in 170,000 dead “since 2011.”
On July 17 Breitbart News reported the downing of Malaysian passenger flight MH17 near Donetsk, Ukraine. All 298 passengers were killed. The tensions in Ukraine and Syria are similar enough that the FAA does not want to take a chance on seeing an American plane downed over Syria.
As the FAA made clear, “armed extremist groups in Syria” possess “a variety of anti-aircraft weapons which have the capability to threaten civilian aircraft.” The opposition has demonstrated their ability to do this by shooting “down Syrian military aircraft…during the course of the conflict.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.