Turkey, Syria close airspace in tit-for-tat as tensions escalate
ANKARA (AFP) - Turkey has banned Syrian civilian flights from its airspace, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Sunday, after Damascus announced it had imposed a similar restriction on Turkish flights.
"Yesterday (Saturday), we closed our airspace to Syrian civilian flights as we have previously done for Syrian military flights," Mr Davutoglu told journalists.
"As we have established that civilian flights were being misused by the Syrian defence ministry to transport military material, we sent a note yesterday to the Syrian side," he said.
Ankara's move came after the Syrian state news agency Sana reported on Saturday that a flight ban had been imposed on Turkish flights. The move was largely symbolic, as Turkey had already told its airlines not to fly over Syria because of the risk of retaliation.