Syria strikes warning for UK-Cyprus flights

Airline pilots flying from the UK to Cyprus have been given a safety warning over military action in Syria.

The "rapid alert" was issued by European aviation authorities, telling pilots that "due consideration needs to be taken" of possible air-to-ground strikes or cruise missiles into Syria "within the next 72 hours".

The notification from the European Aviation Security Agency (Easa) covers the Eastern Mediterranean/Nicosia flight information region, which includes airspace over Cyprus.

The alert, published by air traffic control group Eurocontrol, also warns of "intermittent disruption of radio navigation equipment".

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Around 50 flights are due to depart for Cyprus from airports across the UK on Wednesday, including services by easyJet, Ryanair, British Airways and Thomas Cook Airlines to Larnaca and Paphos.

Most carriers already avoid Syrian airspace due to previous warnings from aviation regulators in the UK and other countries, but the Easa alert could affect flights in neighbouring regions.

In July 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over conflict-torn eastern Ukraine, killing 298 passengers and crew.

An international investigation found the missile used was taken into Ukraine from Russia, but the latter denied any involvement.