Overnight Israeli Strike Targets Iranian Militias at Damascus Airport, Syrian War Monitor Reports

Syrian state media says flights to and from Damascus Airport are suspended, citing need to repair equipment

Jack Khoury
Reuters
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Attack in Syria, 2019
Attack in Syria, 2019Credit: SANA / AP
Jack Khoury
Reuters

A Syrian military official said an Israeli attack targeted sites south of the capital Damascus early on Friday, Syrian state media reported, later saying the city's airport has temporarily suspended operations.

A war monitor said the Israeli strikes targeted warehouses used by Iranian militias in the vicinity of the Damascus International Airport, citing sources that said three sites were damaged.

A satellite image showing the aftermath of the overnight strike on the Damascus airport.Credit: ImageSat International (ISI)

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights added that some members of the Iranian militias present there were wounded, but did not provide more specific information. Al Arabiya reported that Iranian weapons shipments were the target of the overnight strike.

State media said that Syrian air defenses intercepted the missiles and downed most of them, adding that the attack caused one civilian injury and some material damage.

Later on Friday, state media said all flights to and from the airport have been suspended, saying some equipment is out of service, but not linking it directly to the strike. Flights will resume as soon as the faulty equipment is fixed, according to the Syrian Transportation Ministry.

The Observatory added that the strike damaged the airport's northern runway, the only one still operating after another Israeli strike, also said to have targeted Iranian weapons shipments, damaged the southern one, which was never repaired. The airport's control tower is also said to have been damaged.

A satellite image showing the aftermath of a strike on Damascus airport from a report by ImageSat International.Credit: ImageSat International - ISI

As works to repair the tarmac are underway, some flights are being diverted to Aleppo Airport.

Moscow strongly condemned Friday "Israel's provocative attack on a critical Syrian civilian infrastructure," a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry said. "We demand that the Israeli side stop this vicious practice," the statement added.

This is the second report of an Israeli strike in Syria this week, and according to the Syrian Observatory's tally, the 15th this year.

Syrian state TV reported on Monday that air defenses have been activated in response to an Israeli strike targeting southern parts of Damascus. The attack caused some material damage, the report said, noting no casualties.

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