FAA blocks U.S. planes from flying over Syria
The United States has announced that Syrian airspace in not safe for American airlines due to the ongoing conflict in the country.
The Federal Aviation Administration in a statement on Monday banned flights by US carriers over Syria.
"Based on an updated assessment of the risk associated with such operations and the lack of any requests from operators wishing to fly in this airspace, we believe it prudent to prohibit US operators from flying into, out of and over Syria," according to the statement.
"The ongoing armed conflict and volatile security environment in Syria poses a serious potential threat to civil aviation."
The FAA had earlier required the airliners to contact it before deciding to fly over Syria.
The ban applies to all US-registered planes, commercial operators and FAA-licensed pilots.
"Due to the presence of anti-aircraft weapons among the extremist groups and ongoing fighting in various locations throughout Syria, there is a continuing significant potential threat to civil aviation operating in Syrian airspace," the agency said.
Washington banned flights over Syria because militants have access to a "variety of anti-aircraft weapons." However, the armed militants have had anti-aircraft missiles for months.
The Obama administration is arming militants in Syria, saying they are "moderate opposition.” The White House is set to increase its supply to the militants.
Earlier this month, the United States prohibited American airlines and other commercial carriers from flying over Iraq as the Pentagon launched its airstrikes there.