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Turkey bars Syrian civilian flights

- Associated Press - Sunday, October 14, 2012

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey has barred its airspace to Syrian civilian flights, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Sunday.

Turkey made the decision because the Syrian regime, which is battling an insurgency, was "abusing" civilian flights by transporting military equipment, Mr. Davutoglu said.

Syria's government was notified of the decision on Saturday, he said.

Last week, Turkey forced a Syrian plane to land and confiscated what it said was military equipment on board. Russia said the plane was carrying spare radar parts, while Syria accused Turkey of piracy.

Syria announced Saturday that it was closing its airspace to Turkish flights. But Mr. Davutoglu said Sunday that "the Syrian announcement has no value for us."

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