Published On: Wed, Apr 11th, 2018

Syria attack news: UK pilots warned of Syria missile attack on Cyprus holiday flights | UK | News

Airline pilots flying from the UK to Cyprus were given the chiling safety warning for flying over Syria amid a growing war of words between Russia and US President Donald Trump. 

The “rapid alert” was issued by European aviation authorities, telling pilots that “due consideration needs to be taken” of possible air-to-ground strikes or cruise missiles into Syria “within the next 72 hours”.

Firebrand leader Mr Trump today sent a war mongering threat to Russia warning missiles “are coming” to Syria after after Saturday’s deadly chemical attack in the war-ravaged country. 

Fears of World War 3 are growing after the Kremlin vowed to shoot down bombs and their launch sites in response to Assad’s alleged chemical attack on civilians.

Around 50 flights are due to depart for Cyprus from airports across the UK on Wednesday, including services by easyJet, Ryanair, British Airways and Thomas Cook Airlines to Larnaca and Paphos.

The notification from the European Aviation Security Agency (Easa) covers the Eastern Mediterranean/Nicosia flight information region, which includes airspace over Cyprus.

The alert, published by air traffic control group Eurocontrol, also warns of “intermittent disruption of radio navigation equipment”.

Most carriers already avoid Syrian airspace due to previous warnings from aviation regulators in the UK and other countries, but the Easa alert could affect flights in neighbouring regions.

In July 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over conflict-torn eastern Ukraine, killing 298 passengers and crew.

An international investigation found the missile used was taken into Ukraine from Russia, but the latter denied any involvement. 

Russia and Iran are the main backers of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad whose ruthless seven-year war against his own people is supported by Russian warplanes.

Russia and the US blocked attempts by each other in the UN Security Council on Tuesday to set up international investigations into chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

And now the US and its allies, including the UK, are considering whether to hit Syria over a suspected poison gas attack that medical relief organisations say killed dozens of people in the rebel-held town of Douma near Damascus on Saturday.

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