Russian strikes in Syria again halt north Iraq flights
Flights to and from two northern Iraqi airports were suspended for 48 hours for the second time in roughly two weeks due to Russian strikes in Syria, officials said Monday.
The directors of the Erbil and Sulaimaniyah airports in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region both said that flights had been suspended due to danger posed by Russian cruise missiles heading to Syria.
Flights to the two airports were also suspended for 48 hours beginning on November 23 for the same reason.
And flights in and out of Lebanon were rerouted and some airlines cancelled services after Moscow requested they avoid an area over the eastern Mediterranean a few days before that.
Russia began carrying out strikes in Syria on September 30 in support of its longstanding ally President Bashar al-Assad.
In its bombing campaign, Moscow has fired cruise missiles from warships in the Caspian Sea that passed over northern Iraq en route to their targets in Syria.
A U.S.-led coalition is also carrying out strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, where the miltiants have declared a cross-border “caliphate” spanning territory it controls in the two countries.