Israeli missile strikes disable Syrian airport in Damascus
The Israeli army fired missiles at the Syrian capital’s international airport on Monday morning, knocking it out of service and killing two soldiers and wounding two others, the Syrian army said.
The attack, the second in seven months to disable Damascus International Airport, caused property damage in a nearby area, the army said, without giving further details.
Israel has targeted airports and ports in government-controlled parts of Syria in an apparent attempt to prevent arms deliveries from Iran to Tehran-backed militant groups, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
An opposition war monitor reported that the Israeli strikes hit the airport as well as an arms depot near the facility south of Damascus. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said four people were killed in the strike.
There was no comment from Israel.
On June 10, Israeli airstrikes that hit Damascus International Airport caused extensive damage to infrastructure and runways. It reopened two weeks later after repairs.
In September, Israeli airstrikes hit the international airport in the northern city of Aleppo, Syria’s largest and once commercial hub, also knocking it out of service for days.
In late 2021, Israeli warplanes fired missiles that hit the port of Latakia, hitting containers and starting a huge fire.
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations.
Israel, however, has acknowledged that it was targeting bases of militant groups allied with Iran, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.
Thousands of Iranian-backed fighters have joined Syria’s 11-year civil war and helped tip the balance of power in Assad’s favor.
Israel says an Iranian presence on its northern border is a red line that justifies its strikes on facilities and weapons inside Syria.