Turkey Bans Syrian Civil Flights
Suspects regime smuggling military equipment
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 14, 2012 9:17 AM CDT
Partially obscured by a barrier, bottom, a Syrian passenger plane that was forced by Turkish jets to land in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012.   (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

(Newser) – Turkey's foreign minister says the country has barred its airspace to Syrian civilian flights. Ahmet Davutoglu said today that Turkey had made the decision because the Syrian regime, which is battling an insurgency, was "abusing" civilian flights by transporting military equipment. He says Syria's government was notified of the decision yesterday.

Last week, Turkey forced a Syrian plane to land and confiscated what it said was military equipment on board. Russia said the plane was carrying spare radar parts, while Syria accused Turkey of piracy. Syria announced yesterday that it was closing its airspace to Turkish flights. But, countered Davutoglu today, "the Syrian announcement has no value for us."