Syrian air space closed to civilian air traffic?DEBKA is reporting that Syrian airspace has been closed to civilian traffic after riots broke out in response to President Bashar al-Assad's speech on Monday (Hat Tip: Jay Jay).
debkafile reports war fever in and around Syria after Syrian President Bashar Assad's speech Monday, June 20, sparked riots by disappointed protesters in Damascus and Latakia. Syria closed its air space to civilian traffic. Cypriot control tower warned international flights to avoid Syria after Damascus had signaled it is keeping its skies clear for military air action in case of unspecified hostilities.As many of you know, I don't like to use DEBKA as a sole source. However, I checked the web site of Damascus International Airport - specifically the list of arrivals between 12:00 Noon and Midnight on Monday. Since 4:42 on Monday afternoon, only one flight has arrived, and that was a Saudia flight from Riyadh that arrived at 7:17 pm. The only other flight in the evening that even has a scheduled arrival time is a Royal Jordanian flight from Amman that is due in at 9:55 pm, but given the flying time from Amman to Damascus, that flight may not have even departed yet. On the departure side, the only flight that has departed since 6:00 pm was a Saudia flight to Jeddah, which left at 8:43 pm - probably returning the equipment from the Saudia flight that arrived an hour and a half earlier.
According to other sources, some Iranian, Turkish military helicopters are infiltrating northern Syria on reconnaissance missions. Arab sources report NATO is planning to fly extra troops from Spanish and Germany bases to the Izmir Air base in western Turkey to expand the current number of 400. Damascus accuses Turkey of seeking to seize Syrian territory on the pretext of providing a buffer zone for Syrian refugees.