Plan B: Russia May Use New Aid Flight Routes to Syria Bypassing Greece
20:01 07.09.2015 (updated 21:32 07.09.2015)
Russia may use new flight aid routes to Syria if Greece closes its airspace to Russian aircraft, first deputy head of the international committee of the Russian Federation Council Vladimir Jabbarov said.
Earlier Monday, a source told Sputnik that Greece had received a request from the United States to deny Russian aircraft providing humanitarian aid to Syria use of the country's airspace.
"This is an absurd move and if it is supported by Greece, it will be an unfriendly move toward Russia," Jabbarov said.
On Saturday, the US embassy appealed to the Greek government with a request to prohibit the flights of Russian aircraft providing aid to Syria, however, Athens refused to do so, a source told RIA Novosti.
The Russian senator stressed that there Iran, Turkey and Central Asian states may assist Russia with regard to its humanitarian mission in Syria.
Commenting on the US’ request to close Greek airspace to Russian humanitarian flights to Syria, the Russian senator said that Washington "is afraid of any assistance that Russia is providing to the Syrian people."
Jabbarov commented on Western media reports concerning Russia's alleged increased weapons supplies to Syria saying that "the purpose of this campaign is to spark anti-Russian hysteria."
The senator also noted that if the United States had the right to do so, it would have closed all countries' airspace to Russian aircraft.
However, Russia can create new flight routes under international agreements, he concluded.
Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011 as government forces loyal to President Assad have been fighting several opposition and radical Islamist militant groups, including Nusra Front and Islamic State.
A number of Western countries have long supported what they call "moderate" rebel fighters, while Russia has repeatedly stated that Assad is the legitimate president of Syria, and that the people of Syria must choose their government and leaders without outside intervention.
In August, the Syrian president said that he highly appreciated Russia's assistance, by which Moscow had proved its firm position in supporting Damascus during the military conflict.
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