Damascus airport to resume flights after Israeli strike

The airport strike marked a major escalation in tensions between Israel and Iran.

By Associated Press

The international airport in Syria’s capital will resume flights after nearly two weeks following an Israeli airstrike that caused serious damage to the facility, state TV reported Wednesday.

The outlet quoted the Transportation Ministry as saying that flights will resume at Damascus International Airport on Thursday adding that all companies “should schedule their arriving and departing flights as of this date.”

According to the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights, a British-based war monitor, the air strike made the main runway unusable and destroyed terminal arrival halls used by Iranian operatives, as well as communication towers, three weapons depots belonging to Hezbollah and other airport infrastructure.

The Observatory also said the destroyed terminals had been designated as VIP areas for Iranian personnel and for storing smuggled missile components.

Israel accused Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of smuggling missile components to Hezbollah on civilian flights through the Damascus airport.

Israel’s Kan News reported that the smuggled components were intended to convert conventional missiles into precision weapons.

Work has been ongoing since then to repair the damage and flights have been mostly diverted to the international airport in the northern city of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city.

Israel’s military has declined to comment on the Damascus airport airstrike. The facility is located just south of the capital, where Syrian opposition activists say Iran-backed militiamen are active and have arms depots.

Israel has staged hundreds of strikes on targets in Syria over the years but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations. The airport strike marked a major escalation in Israel’s campaign, further ratcheting up tensions between Israel on one side and Iran and its Lebanese ally, Hezbollah terrorist organization, on the other.

Israel says it targets bases of Iran-allied militias, such as Hezbollah, which has fighters deployed in Syria fighting on the side of President Bashar Assad’s government forces and ships arms believed to be bound for the militias.

World Israel News staff contributed to this report.