Airlines are told to stay away from Syria by European air traffic control agency ahead of strike ‘in the next 72 hours’

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
By Paul Martin

Eurocontrol has warned pilots flying in east Mediterranean to exercise caution
The air traffic control agency warned of strikes on Syria ‘in the next 72 hours’
Donald Trump is considering an airstrike in the wake of Assad’s latest gas attack

11 April 2018

Major airlines are re-routing flights today after air traffic controllers warned rocket strikes could be fired into Syria ‘in the next 72 hours’.

Europe’s main air traffic control agency, Eurocontrol, warned aircraft flying in the eastern Mediterranean to exercise caution due to possible action against Syria.

It said in a air-to-ground and cruise missiles could be used over the following three days and there was a possibility of intermittent disruption to radio navigation equipment.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Western allies are discussing possible military action to punish Syria’s President Bashar Assad for a suspected poison gas attack on Saturday on a rebel-held town that had long held out against government forces.

A spokeswoman for Air France said the airline had changed some flights paths following the warning, including for Beirut and Tel Aviv flights, while budget airline easyJet said it would also re-route flights from Tel Aviv.

Aviation regulators have been stepping up monitoring of conflict zones since Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed by a surface-to-air missile over Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 people on board.

Recent warnings have tended to be after military action has started, and so Eurocontrol’s pre-emptive notice suggests a heightening of regulatory scrutiny.

Trump on Tuesday canceled a planned trip to Latin America later this week to focus on responding to the Syria incident, the White House said.

Trump on Monday warned of a quick, forceful response once responsibility for the attack was established.

The Eurocontrol warning on its website did not specify the origin of any potential missile threat.

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