European air traffic agency urges caution due to risk of strikes on Syria

A pan-European air traffic control agency warned airliners to exercise caution flying in the eastern Mediterranean due to the risk of missile strikes against targets in Syria.

In a statement issued Tuesday April 10, Eurocontrol urged aircraft managers to take account of the “possible launch of air strikes into Syria with air-to-ground and/or cruise missiles within the next 72 hours,” as well as potential disruption to radio navigation.

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U.S. President Donald J. Trump on Monday warned that he was prepared to order a “forceful” response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, which is reported to have killed 70 people and may have affected 500, according to the World Health Organization.

The Syrian government has denied any use of chemical weapons. Trump ordered a missile strike against a Syrian airbase in response to a chemical weapons attack in April 2017.

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In 2014, Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down while flying over a conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, in airspace most airlines had been avoiding.

Several aviation regulators have previously warned airliners against flying in Syrian airspace and a Lufthansa spokesperson told Reuters they have been avoiding the region in question for some time.

Aircraft flight tracking website FlightRadar24 on Wednesday morning showed several aircraft in the relevant region, including two in Syrian airspace.

Screenshot 1130 on April 11 2018 via
Screenshot 1130 on April 11 2018 via

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