News   /   Russia   /   News

Russia to use Lebanon airspace to conduct naval drills in Mediterranean

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The Tartus naval base on Syria's Mediterranean Sea coast has been used by the Russian navy since the early 1970s. (Reuters)

Lebanon says Moscow has notified Beirut that it plans to carry out a three-day naval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea at midnight on Friday.

“We, Cyprus, and Turkey are informed of the fact that Russian maneuvers will begin today at midnight” (2200 GMT), the Lebanese transport minister Ghazi Zeaiter told the Lebanese al-Mayadeen television channel on Friday.

Earlier in the day, Lebanese media also reported that officials in Rafik Hariri International Airport in the Lebanese capital Beirut had received notification from the Russian navy that it would be carrying out the training and maneuvers starting from midnight on Friday, adding that the exercises “have a direct effect on Lebanon's airspace and will bring air traffic to and from Beirut's airport to a complete halt”.

The ministry set up an emergency group “to ensure the continuity of takeoffs and landings at the airport, taking into account the maximum degree of public safety."

Zeaiter had earlier said Lebanon was unable to grant the request by Moscow to divert civilian aircraft flying over the area in international waters during the three-day Russian military drills, as the country's civil aviation had no alternative routes.

The Russian authorities, however, have not commented on the issue yet.

Russia began its air strikes against the Daesh Takfiris and other terrorists in Syria on September 30 at the request of the Damascus government. Moscow says the campaign is aimed at helping the Syrian army in its anti-terror fight.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku