Israeli missile strikes put Damascus airport out of service

Israeli missile strikes put Damascus airport out of service

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BEIRUT (AP) — The Israeli military fired missiles at the Syrian capital’s international airport early Monday, 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 put Damascus International Airport out of service, caused material damage in the nearby area, the army said, without giving further details.

Israel has attacked airports and ports in government-held parts of Syria in an apparent attempt to prevent Iran from supplying arms to Tehran-backed armed groups, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

An opposition military monitor said Israeli strikes hit the airport as well as a weapons 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 hit Damascus International Airport caused significant damage to infrastructure and runways. Two weeks later it reopened after renovations.

In September, Israeli airstrikes hit the international airport of the northern city of Aleppo, Syria’s largest and once commercial center also put it out of commission for days.

At the end of 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 in government-held parts of Syria in recent years, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations.

But Israel has admitted it is targeting bases of Iran-allied armed groups, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar al-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 claims that Iran’s presence on its northern border is a red line that justifies its strikes on facilities and weapons in Syria.

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