Pan-European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol warned airlines to exercise caution in the area of the eastern Mediterranean. The reason for this is possible air strikes into Syria in the upcoming days, Reuters reports.
According to Eurocontrol, air-to-ground and cruise missiles could be used in the next 72 hours and radio navigation equipment may be disrupted. The US President Donald Trump and the Western allies are discussing an attack on Syria’s Bashar Assad. He allegedly attacked a rebel-held town with poison gas, but this hasn’t been confirmed. Trump canceled his trip to Latin America and will focus on the Syria incident instead.
The Eurocontrol posted a warning on its official website, but the origin of the potential missile threat has not been specified. The warning stated: “Due to the possible launch of air strikes into Syria with air-to-ground and/or cruise missiles within the next 72 hours, and the possibility of intermittent disruption of radio navigation equipment, due consideration needs to be taken when planning flight operations in the Eastern Mediterranean/Nicosia FIR area.”
Aviation regulators in the USA, the GB, France, and Germany have issued warnings preventing their airlines from entering Syrian airspace. The only commercial flight above Syria was flown by Syrian Air, and Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines reports FlightRadar24. There have been no flights later in the day.
According to the Lufthansa spokesperson, they were aware of the warnings, and they are in contact with Eurocontrol authorities. He said: “As a proactive precaution, Lufthansa Group airlines have already avoided the airspace in the eastern Mediterranean for some time now.” Some other airlines such as Ryanair Holdings PLC and British Airways were operating normally, but the situation was being monitored closely.
The US has sent the “Harry S. Truman plane carrier into this part of the Mediterranean, and it has been followed by seven warships, according to the multiple sources. The “Harry S. Truman” shipped from the Norfolk port and it will act together with the Fifth and Sixth American Fleet.