AP News

Etihad Airways suspends flights to Damascus

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Etihad Airways has suspended flights between Abu Dhabi and Damascus, citing the "deteriorating security" situation in the country.

The Abu Dhabi-based carrier said it would notify affected passengers of Thursday's decision and offer a full refund for unused tickets.

The other major United Arab Emirates carrier, Dubai-based Emirates, offers one flight a day to Damascus while the other top Gulf carrier, Qatar Airways, already stopped flying there.

Gulf states have been the main of rebels seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar's Assad's authoritarian regime. The 17-month civil war spread to both the capital, Damascus, with significant clashes that began in July, and to Syria's largest city, Aleppo, a few weeks later. At the same time, the military is fighting in a string of other cities and towns nationwide.

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