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Moscow Bans Civilian Flights Over Syria

Syria's now a no-fly zone for Russian airlines.
Russia's air transport agency has banned all Russian civilian planes from flying through Syrian air space after a Russian passenger jet reportedly was threatened by rocket fire over Syria.

The ban went into force on April 29 and will remain in effect until further notice.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich says the NordWind Airlines flight was traveling with 159 passengers from Sharm al-Sheikh in Egypt to the Russian city of Kazan when the pilots noticed “threatening military activity” on the ground.

Pilot Nikolai Raspopov said passengers and crew members saw what appeared to be rockets rising to an altitude of about 10,000 meters.

Interfax quoted sources in Moscow who said unidentified assailants appear to have fired two land-to-air missiles at the plane.

Based on reporting by APF, ITAR-TASS, Interfax, and Rossia 24 TV