Syria suffers ‘significant’ damage to airports, runways from Israeli airstrike

Syria’s aviation infrastructure has suffered significant damage after an Israeli airstrike on Damascus International Airport and the main runway has been rendered unusable until further notice. The transport ministry’s statement was the first to detail the extent of damage from the June 10 airstrikes. Syrian media previously reported that Syria suspended all flights to and from the airport, and the ministry confirmed that all flights were suspended because “some technical equipment has stopped working at the airport. “

The Israeli military declined to comment on the airstrike. The statement from Saturday (June 11) said that the runway was damaged at several places and the strike also affected the second terminal building of the airport. As a result of these losses, incoming and outgoing flights through the airport were suspended until further notice.

The airport is located south of the capital Damascus, where Syrian opposition activists say Iran-backed militias are active and have weapons depots. Israel has carried out attacks in the region for years, including a fire near an airport on May 21 that led to the suspension of two flights. This was the first time an airstrike caused damage to the airport due to suspension of flights.

Also read: Two AirAsia India flights on Delhi-Srinagar route have technical snag, mid-air return

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said Friday morning that the Israeli strike hit three weapons depots for Iran-backed militias inside the airport, adding that the northern runway at the facility was damaged, As was the observation tower.

The observatory said the northern runway was the only one operating after Israel’s attacks last year badly damaged the second runway, known as the southern runway. Israel has carried out hundreds of attacks on targets in Syria over the years, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations.

It says it targets targets of Iran-allied militias such as the Lebanese terrorist Hezbollah group. Hezbollah has fighters stationed in Syria fighting on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s weapons of government forces and ships believed to be bound to militias.

The Syrian transport ministry statement said civil aviation cadres and special units were working to clear the debris and repair the damage and that operations would resume as soon as flight safety was ensured.

(with inputs from AP)

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