Published August 16, 2012
PARIS – Air France says a flight to Lebanon's capital was forced to land briefly in Syria after protesters blocked the road leading to the Beirut airport.
A spokeswoman said the plane took off Wednesday from Paris, but was diverted when it was an hour from Beirut because of concerns passengers would be trapped if it landed.
Syria's civil war has ignited long-simmering tensions in Lebanon in recent days, including the protests that closed the airport road.
The spokeswoman — speaking on condition of anonymity, citing company rules — said air traffic control suggested the plane land in Jordan, but it didn't have enough fuel. Instead, it touched down in Damascus.
After refueling, it went to Cyprus, where passengers spent the night.
The plane plans to head to Beirut on Thursday.