Local journalist: ‘Massive Russian air traffic’ preempts Latakia civilian flights

Bassel al-Assad International Airport, an airbase 20km southeast of Latakia hosting Russian air forces in Syria, has reportedly stopped all civilian flights.

“The sheer number of Russian flights into the airport–one every ten minutes or so, according to residents –means all civilian flights since Tuesday have been cancelled, and re-routed to Damascus,” Binan Hassan, a Latakia-based journalist told Syria Direct’s Abdulrahman Salah on Wednesday.

Q: Why are there no longer any civilian flights through Bassel al-Assad International?

The reason for the cancellation of civilian flights in and out of Bassel al-Assad International–which the regime is denying, by the way–is the massive Russian air traffic coming into the airport since Moscow began its air intervention in Syria.

Q: Can you tell us more about Russian flights into Bassel International?

The sheer number of Russian flights into the airport–one every 10 minutes or so, according to residents–means all civilian flights since Tuesday have been cancelled and re-routed to Damascus.

Basically, the regime wants to keep the flow of Russian weapons into Syria completely open. To that end, additional fortifications are also in the works around the airbase to protect it from any future rebel assault.

Junior reporter:

Joseph Adams

Joseph was a 2013-2014 Boren Fellow in Arabic based in Amman, Jordan and is the founder of Open Syria. He holds BA and MS degrees in political science from UCLA and MIT, and is an MA degree candidate in Arabic at Middlebury College.