Russia alerts Cyprus of Syria military exercises

AFP , Friday 11 Sep 2015

Russia has issued an alert for Cyprus to divert aircraft from normal flight paths as it plans to conduct military exercises off the Syria' coast next week, officials on the island said Friday.

Reports in Moscow said Russia had sent NOTAMs (Notice to Airmen) to the US Federal Aviation Administration about the exercises between the Syrian port of Tartus and Cyprus, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) away.

A source in the Cypriot defence ministry confirmed that Russia had issued NOTAMs for exercises including the firing of missiles, saying such notices were a "matter of routine."

There was still a possibility Russia might not carry out the exercises on the dates it set out, including for between September 14 and 17.

"They might carry out military exercises and they might not, but the dates have been reserved," the source told AFP.

A copy of the NOTAMs on the FAA website gave the coordinates for what it said were a "Russian navy excercise" including "rocket test firings" between September 8 and 15.

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