Syria Turkey spat continues as they both ban civilian flights

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The diplomatic crisis between Syria and Turkey escalated again on Sunday as the two countries banned each other from using their airspace for even civilian flights.

Beirut – The latest tit-for-tat move comes after Turkey last week forced down a passenger plane and confiscated a cargo of Russian radar equipment intended for the Assad regime.

On Sunday Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, accused the Syrian government of “abusing” civilian flights by transporting military equipment.

Syria responded by announcing the closure of its own air space, in “accordance with the principle of reciprocity”, SANA state news agency said.

The diplomatic development came as Human Rights Watch accused the Syrian air force of increasing its use of cluster bombs in the past week as the Assad regime fights to regain control of the country.

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