Mon, Aug 11, 2008
Radar Reportedly Damaged, Preventing Escape Flights
Make a note for future reference...
if you become party to a military dispute, even civilian airports
may become military targets.
Several international media outlets are now reporting that as
Russian aircraft bombed military airports in the former Soviet
territory of Georgia Sunday, bombs also fell in two separate
attacks near Tbilisi International, a major commercial airport. The
two nations have been through four days of military confrontations
over the province of South Ossetia, an autonomous territory within
Georgia where many citizens are pursuing Russian citizenship.
Shota Utiashvili, a spokeman for the Georgian Interior Ministry,
told Reuters it appears the single bomb which fell near the
civilian airport's runway around 7am local time was intended for
either a nearby military airport or an aircraft construction plant.
A later attack was reported to have struck an uninhabited area near
The first bombing at Tbilisi International took place shortly
before the scheduled arrival there of French Foreign Minister
Bernard Kouchner, who's attempting to mediate an end to the
conflict. After an expected Sunday meeting with Georgian President
Mikheil Saakashvili, Kouchner was scheduled to fly to Moscow on
The damage has reportedly prevented approximately 100 Israeli
nationals from leaving the embattled region. According to the
Ha'aretz news agency, Arkia Israel Airlines is unable to fly into
the airport to retrieve the citizens due to the airport's radar
system being damaged.
Georgia appears to be trying to move the dispute from military
confrontation to a diplomatic venue. After fighting which has left
much of Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, in ruins,
Georgian officials claim to have withdrawn all forces from the
Officials in the region have called for a cease-fire... but
Russia appears determined to quell dissention once and for all.
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