Damascus, Syria — Syria has suspended all flights to and from Damascus International Airport after an Israeli airstrike on Friday hit an area near the facility, a pro-government newspaper reported.
Al-Watan said the attack left the runway damaged, without giving further details about the attack.
The airport is located south of the capital Damascus, where Syrian opposition activists say Iranian-backed militiamen are active and have weapons depots. Israel has carried out attacks in the area for years, including one on May 21 that resulted in a fire near the airport, leading to the postponement of two flights.
State news agency SANA said the Transport Ministry confirmed that all flights had been suspended because “some technical equipment had stopped working at the airport”.
Private airlines Sham Wings said they are diverting all their flights from Damascus to Aleppo International Airport in the north of the country. He added that all passengers will be transported by bus between the two cities free of charge.
The airport is located south of Damascus. Flightradar24 showed no flights in the vicinity of the airport on Friday at noon.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the Israeli attack on Friday morning hit three weapons depots for Iranian-backed militiamen inside the airport, adding that the The facility’s northern runway was damaged, as was the observation tower.
The Observatory added that the northern runway was the only one in operation after Israeli attacks last year severely damaged the other runway, known as the southern runway.
The announcement came hours after Syrian state media reported Israeli air strikes on some military positions south of Damascus on Friday, injuring one person and causing property damage.
Israel has carried out hundreds of attacks on targets in Syria over the years, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations. He says he is targeting Iranian-allied militia bases such as the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which has fighters stationed in Syria and fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government forces, and arms shipments believed to be destined to the militias.