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Turkey closes airspace to russian planes shuttling military from Syria

The ban on flights through Turkish territory has been in force since April.

Turkey closes airspace to russian planes shuttling military from Syria
Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu
Photo: EPA / UPG

Turkey has closed its airspace to civilian and military aircraft from russia to Syria, announced Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu. His statement was reported by Reuters, citing the state-run TRT Haber.

"We have closed the airspace for russian military planes and civilian planes heading to Syria to pick up soldiers," he said.

According to the minister, the permit was valid for three months and expired in April, putting an end to the flights of russian planes through Turkey.

Cavusoglu also claims that in case there is progress in the talks between Ukraine and russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and russian President Putin have agreed to hold a meeting in Turkey.

As of mid-March, Russia had opened 14 centers for recruiting mercenaries in Syria in territories controlled by the regime of Bashar al-Assad. After a short training, the mercenaries will be transported to Russia via the Khmeimim airbase to the Chkalovsky airbase in the Moscow region by two Tu-134 aircraft (80 passengers) and a Tu-154 (180 passengers).

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has promised to provide russia with 40,000 militants. Ukrainian intelligence reported that some Syrian mercenaries considered participation in the war in Ukraine on the side of russia as an opportunity for further desertion and illegal migration to EU countries. The russians managed to recruit thousands of Syrians.

As early as the end of March, the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine announced that the Syrian government was not fulfilling its previous promises to russia regarding the systematic supply of mercenaries to the russian army.

In April, NSDC Secretary Alexei Danilov said that Russia had managed to recruit several hundred mercenaries from Syria and Libya to the war in Ukraine. According to him, the number was between 300 and 500. At the same time, some of them have already been killed by our defenders in the Luhansk region.

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