Russian plane detours over Syria to avoid combat zone

MOSCOW - A Russian charter plane flying over Syria made a detour on Monday to avoid any danger from ground fighting in the war-torn Middle East country, a tourism official was quoted as saying.
Nobody was hurt, Maya Lomnidze, a director at the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, was quoted as saying after media reported that the plane, en route from Egypt's resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to Russia's central-western city of Kazan, came under attack over Syria.
"According to our information, there was no firing whatsoever," Lomnidze was quoted as saying by the Ekho Moskvy radio.
"While flying over this country, the crew saw flashes, considered this a potential threat and changed their air transit corridor," she said.
Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website that the NORDWIND AIRLINES plane had 159 passengers on board and the Transport Ministry separately said the Airbus 320 landed in Kazan on time.
Russia is a long-standing arms supplier to Damascus and has been a staunch international protector of Syrian President Bashar Assad during more than two years of conflict in Syria, which has claimed more than 70,000 lives.