The US has turned down a request by Airbus SAS to sell aircraft to Syria to modernize the country's aging national airline, Syria's transportation minister said Monday.
The Tishrin newspaper on Monday quoted Yarob Badr as saying that an Airbus delegation recently informed Syrian officials that the US Commerce Department rejected a request to lift an embargo on selling planes to Damascus.
The US imposed economic and diplomatic sanctions on Syria in May 2004 because of what Washington says is its support for terrorism, pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and other activities including undermining US operations in Iraq. Syria denies the allegations.
The sanctions have grounded much of Syrian Air's fleet, leaving less than ten planes in operation.