Oct 14, 2012
Syria banned Turkish passenger flights from its airspace from Sunday in a retaliatory move after Turkey confiscated a cargo of what Russia said was radar equipment en route from Moscow to Damascus last week.
The reprisal, just weeks before the annual hajj when thousands of Turkish pilgrims head to the Muslim holy places in Saudi Arabia on a route that would normally take them through Syrian airspace, came despite a flurry of diplomacy on Saturday intended to calm soaring tensions between the neighbours.
Syria accuses Turkey of channeling arms from Gulf Arab states to rebels fighting its troops, who have been under mounting pressure across large swathes of the north, including second city Aleppo.
The flight ban went into force from midnight (2100 GMT Saturday) “in accordance with the principle of reciprocity”, SANA state news agency said, although Turkey has said its airspace remains open to Syrian civilian flights.