Israeli strike closes down Damascus airport, 2 Syrian soldiers killed

Two Syrian soldiers were among the four killed in a strike against Hezbollah in and around the airport, putting it out of business for several hours.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Israeli forces struck the international airport in Damascus very early Monday morning, putting it out of business for several hours, Syrian media reported Monday.

Military sources told state media SANA that two Syrian soldiers were killed and two others injured when Israeli jets “coming from the direction of the Sea of Galilee” fired “barrages of missiles, targeting Damascus International Airport and its surroundings” at around 2 a.m.

Both runways were struck, forcing the aviation authorities to close the airport for repairs. Syrian media reported that the damage to the airport was repaired in the following hours and by 9 o’clock the site was functioning normally again.

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), at least four people were killed in the attack, which targeted “positions for Hezbollah and pro-Iranian groups inside the airport and its surroundings, including a weapons warehouse.”

Israel has not commented on the attack, which comes just days after Benjamin Netanyahu as sworn in as prime minister.

The IDF has hit Iranian targets and military sites of its Hezbollah proxy hundreds of times annually over recent years, no matter who was prime minister. Called the “war between the wars” in Hebrew, the ongoing attacks are meant to prevent the Islamic Republic from gaining a threatening foothold on Israel’s northern border.

Read  Syria: Israeli strike shut down Aleppo airport

While parts of the airport have been hit numerous times in an apparent effort to stymie weapons shipments from Tehran to its forces in Syria, this was the second time the airport had to shut down due to Israeli operations. On June 10, the IAF cratered the main runways and destroyed terminal arrival halls, communication towers, three weapons depots belonging to Hezbollah and other airport infrastructure.

At the time, the SOHR reported that missile components smuggled into the country on civilian flights from Iran had been stored in the terminals. They were to be used to convert ordinary rockets into precision-guided missiles.

It took two weeks for the airport to be repaired from the damage and resume regular flights.

In September, Syrian media reported that Israeli forces hit Aleppo’s international airport in northern Syria, forcing it to shut down for several days as well. No injuries or deaths on the ground were reported in that raid.