Airlines have been warned to take caution while flying in eastern Mediterranean due to the possible launch of air strikes into Syria in next 72 hours by Pan-European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol. The warning sent on Tuesday has warned about the possibility of use of air-to-ground and/or cruise missiles that will lead to possibility of intermittent disruption of radio navigation equipment.
US and its western allies discussed about punishing Syria’s President Bashar Assad using military action for the suspected poison gas attack on Saturday on a rebel-held town that long had held out against government forces.
The Eurocontrol warning on its website did not specify the origin of any potential missile threat but stated that due to ongoing war over Syria there might be possibility of such threat and have warned to be cautious when planning flight operations in the Eastern Mediterranean/Nicosia FIR area.
The only commercial flight over the area on Wednesday was only flown by Syrian Air and Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines. Aviation regulators of countries like United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany previously issued warnings against airlines entering Syrian airspace leading most carriers to avoid the area.
The awareness was increased by the airlines and regulators to fly above the conflict zones after it posed threat to commercial jets since Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed by a surface-to-air missile over Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 people on board.
Last year, North Korea tested missiles without warning, leading some airlines to re-route flights to avoid portions of the Sea of Japan.