DALLAS – Syria has halted all flights to/from Damascus International Airport (DAM) after an Israeli airstrike damaged an area near the airport on Friday, according to a pro-government daily.
The news outlet Al-Watan stated the strike damaged the runway but didn’t go into depth about the attack. Flightradar24 recorded no flights in the vicinity of the airport on Friday around noon.
Damascus International Airport
Damascus International Airport was inaugurated in the mid-1970s and was the country’s busiest airport.
The airport lies south of Damascus, where Syrian opposition activists claim Iranian-backed militias are active and have weapons caches. Israel has carried out attacks in the area for years, including one on May 21 that resulted in a fire near the airport, forcing two flights to be rescheduled.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor headquartered in the United Kingdom, the Israeli raid on Friday morning hit three arms caches for Iran-backed militants within the airport, as well as the northern runway and observation tower.
Pero the Observatory, the northern runway was the only one that remained operational after Israeli bombings last year severely destroyed the other runway, dubbed the southern runway.
Statement from Government, Airlines
SANA, Syria’s state news agency, did not mention an attack but did say that aircraft had been halted because certain technical equipment at the airport ceased working.
The news came after state media reported earlier on Friday that an Israeli missile had hit various targets in Damascus, hurting at least one civilian.
According to SANA, Syrian government air defenses stopped the majority of the missiles, although others made it to their intended target.
Cham Wings Airlines (6Q), a private carrier, announced that all of its flights from DAM would be diverted to Aleppo International Airport (ALP) in Syria’s north. All guests would be shuttled between the two cities for free by buses, according to the 6Q statement.
This is a developing story.