BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:00 P.M.) – The Director General of the Syrian Civil Aviation, Bassem Mansour, revealed a step his country has taken after U.S. fighter jets intercepted an Iranian passenger plane last Thursday.
Mansour told Iran’s Tasnim Agency that “the plane was in Syrian airspace and close to the Al-Tanf area while crossing the Civil Air Corridor extending from Iraq through the Syrian lands to Lebanon, and the forces of the so-called U.S.-led aggressive coalition launched an air piracy operation.”
The Syrian official pointed out that “exposure to civil aviation is a dangerous precedent and it is air piracy that deserves condemnation and accountability”, noting that they filed a complaint to the Arab Civil Aviation Organization and informed the Iranian aviation of this incident and formed a joint investigation committee to audit this incident and review the air navigation center’s records with the pilot and recorded radar images that clearly show this air piracy and infringement on the plane.”
He said that “this is called the civil custom, air piracy and violation of international agreements that regulate air navigation work, on top of which is the Chicago agreement that regulates civil aviation and air corridors between countries and the safety of air navigation between countries.”
Mansour continued: “The plane was passing through the approved air corridor that links Iraq to Syria with Lebanon to Cyprus. An international air corridor distributed with all international maps did not leave this corridor and did not violate and was in contact with the air navigation center at Damascus Airport who were following the plane and the rest of the planes that cross.”
The Director General of Civil Aviation revealed that the U.S. previously had intercepted a Cham Wings flight from Qamishli to Damascus and an Iraqi Airways flight from Baghdad to Damascus.
Regarding the Syrian technical stance related to what happened, Mansour said: “We informed the Syrian Air Aviation Organization as stipulated in the agreements and informed the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which must in turn stop these piracy on the air navigation lanes, as these lines are regulated by agreements and navigation. Air is organized by international customs and charters. ”
He stressed that “these agreements and charters should not be violated because it leads to air disasters for planes, and this issue is agreed upon between countries and the air corridor is clearly known, and American planes should not be entered into it.”