September 24, 2022

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Confirmation of "massive" damage to Damascus airport after an Israeli attack |  News

Confirmation of “massive” damage to Damascus airport after an Israeli attack | News

The Syrian Ministry of Transport said that the runways of Damascus International Airport are still out of service after the missile strike.

Syrian state media confirmed that Damascus International Airport was severely damaged – including the runways – following an Israeli missile attack.

The Syrian Ministry of Transport said in a statement, Saturday, that the runways remained out of service at the capital’s airport after the attack on Friday, the official Syrian News Agency (SANA) reported.

“Landing and departure flights were suspended today until further notice due to the Israeli aggression, as it caused severe damage to airstrips in several localities and navigation lights in addition to damages.” [that] SANA quoted a statement from the ministry.

The ministry said flights are expected to resume “in cooperation with air carriers” once repair work is completed, SANA reported.

State media reported that the airport was targeted by a barrage of missiles fired from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights at around 4:20 am local time (0:20 GMT) on Friday.

Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes on its neighbor since the outbreak of war in Syria in 2011, targeting government forces, allied forces backed by Iran and fighters from the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah.

While Israel rarely comments on individual attacks, it has acknowledged carrying out hundreds in Syria that it has said are necessary to prevent regional rival Iran from gaining a foothold on its doorstep.

Such attacks rarely cause major disruptions to flights.

The Transportation Department statement was the first to describe the extent of the damage caused by Friday’s airstrike.

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“Civil aviation and national companies are working… to repair the major damages at the airport,” the ministry said, adding that the terminal building was also bombed.

The SANA news agency said that the Israeli shelling also hit a civilian.

Russian condemnation

Russia, Syria’s ally, has strongly condemned the “provocative Israeli attack on basic civilian infrastructure.”

A spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry described such attacks as a “totally unacceptable violation of international norms.”

Russia’s military intervention in 2015 helped turn the war in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s favour, and Moscow has continued to maintain military bases in the country.

The more than a decade-long conflict in Syria began with the brutal suppression of peaceful protests against Assad’s rule that subsequently escalated, drawing in foreign powers and fighters.

Nearly half a million people were killed and nearly half of the country’s pre-war population was forced to flee their homes.

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Miqdad and his Iranian counterpart Hussein Amir Abdollahian spoke by phone and condemned the missile attack, SANA reported.

Miqdad said Syria would “defend itself by all legitimate means” against Israeli attacks.