Israeli strikes put Damascus airport out of service again

AFP , Sunday 26 Nov 2023

Israeli air strikes on Sunday made Damascus airport inoperable just hours after flights had resumed following a similar attack last month, a war monitor said, as state media also reported the attack.

Damascus International Airport
Damascus International Airport. File Photo


"Israeli warplanes on Sunday afternoon carried out a new raid targeting Damascus International Airport... putting it out of service again," said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It said the raid targeted the runways, and reported the sound of an explosion from the direction of a military airport elsewhere in the capital.

A military source said in a statement carried by state news agency SANA that at around 4:50 pm (1350 GMT), "the Zionist enemy carried out an air attack with missiles from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan".

The raid targeted "Damascus international airport and some points in the Damascus countryside", putting the airport out of service and causing "some material losses", it said.

Air defenses "destroyed most" of the missiles, the statement added.

Israel has launched hundreds of air strikes on its northern neighbor since Syria's civil war began in 2011, primarily targeting Iran-backed forces and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters as well as Syrian army positions.

But it has intensified attacks since Israel's war to "crush" Hamas, a Hezbollah ally, began on October 7.

Israeli strikes on Damascus Airport and Aleppo Airport in the north on October 12 and October 22 put both facilities out of service.

Two ticketing offices in the capital had told AFP flights had resumed from Damascus on Sunday, and local media also reported the resumption. Still, authorities had yet to make an official announcement.

Flights were re-routed to Latakia on the west coast after the October 22 strikes.

Israel rarely comments on individual strikes targeting Syria. Still, it has repeatedly said it will not allow arch-foe Iran, which backs President Bashar al-Assad's government, to expand its presence there.

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