South Sudan closes airspace following Sudan unrest

By Parach Mach

JUBA, South Sudan (AA) – South Sudan closed its air space on Friday following political unrest in neighboring Sudan that has led to the ouster of long-time leader Omar Hassan Al-Bashir.

Kur Kuol, director of Juba International Airport, confirmed to Anadolu agency that the restriction came after Sudan closed its airspace as precautionary measures.

"South Sudan lacks modern airspace control system and our airspace has been managed by Sudan since 2011," Kur said.

He said international commercial flights in and out of capital Juba have been suspended but domestic flights are operating as scheduled.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011 after a two decades of bloody civil war.

The Sudanese army on Thursday announced the “removal” of al-Bashir, who has ruled Sudan since 1989, following months of popular protests against his rule.

Turkey responds to Greece's claims on flight clearance

By Fatih Hafız Mehmet

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish Foreign Ministry on Thursday responded to the Greek defense minister's claims of Turkey requesting a flight clearance from Greece.

Panos Kammenos had claimed that Turkish Armed Forces requested flight clearance from Greek authorities "for the first time" for Turkish fighter jets to enter the Greek air space.

In a written statement, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy said it is "well-known" that every state has to request clearance for the civil and military flights to use the airspace of another state.

"It goes without saying, Turkey recognizes six nautical miles of national airspace of Greece and thus requests clearance in accordance with international customs and rules for ferry/transport flights to and over Greece. This is not a new practice," he added.

Jordan denies reports of airspace breach by Syrian jets

By Laith al-Juneidi

AMMAN (AA) – Jordan on Friday denied reports that Syrian warplanes had violated its airspace, according to a statement released by the Jordanian military.

“This morning, remote areas of Jordan’s western Ramtha province were struck by munitions due to the recent intensification of Syrian and Russian airstrikes on the Syrian side of the border,” the Jordanian military quoted an unnamed official source as saying.

No causalities have been reported, according to the statement.

The same source went on to deny recent reports on social media “regarding the alleged violation of Jordanian airspace by Syrian jet fighters”.

On Friday morning, local media outlets reported that an unspecified number of Syrian warplanes had entered Jordanian airspace before conducting a raid on Jordan’s northern city of Al-Tura.

– Fighting in Daraa

For the past week, Syria’s southern Daraa province has been the target of heavy shelling by the Assad regime amid attempts by the latter to reassert control of the region.

On June 12, the Syrian regime — supported by Iranian militia groups and Russian air power — launched a wide-ranging operation aimed at capturing opposition-held parts of southern Syria.

Civil-defense sources in Daraa have told Anadolu Agency that the number displaced Syrians fleeing the area had surpassed 350,000.

According to the U.K.-based Syrian Network for Human Rights, at least 214 civilians — including women and children — were killed in regime attacks in Daraa in the period from June 15 to June 30.

The onslaught has reportedly forced tens of thousands of civilian residents to flee to areas near Syria’s border with Jordan.

The UN, meanwhile, has called on Jordan to open its border to displaced Syrians — a request that Amman has so far refused.

Lebanon to report Israel’s airspace violation at UN

By Furkan Guldemir

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AA) – Lebanon on Saturday decided to file a complaint against Israel at the UN Security Council for allegedly violating the country’s airspace, according to the country’s presidency.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun spoke to Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri over the phone about Israel’s violation of Lebanese airspace during its air operation in Syria, a presidential statement said.

The statement also said the Defense Ministry and Presidency of General Staff submitted reports on Israel’s violations to the Presidency; Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil is expected to raise the issue at the UN Security Council.

Later on Saturday, fragments of rockets, which Israel had used in airstrikes in Syria, landed on the Lebanese territory, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent on the ground.

Some fragments landed in the rural area of Ser Ain town of eastern Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley. Shrapnel pieces also reportedly landed in Ali en-Nahri town.

No casualties were reported.

Earlier on Saturday, Israeli army shot down an Iranian drone launched from Syria and struck a number of Iranian targets in the war-torn country, according to the Israeli military.

Later the Israeli military said an Israeli fighter aircraft crashed in northern Israel following a raid in Syria.

One of the pilots, the army said, had been seriously wounded as a result of an emergency evacuation from his F-16 jet that came under Syrian fire.