Damascus airport closed until at least 20/6 after attack

'Significant damage' from 9/6 Israeli airstrike

13 June, 11:36

    (ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, 13 GIU - The international airport of the Syrian capital will remain closed until at least June 20 after being hit on June 9 by one of the most violent Israeli attacks on Iran-linked militias deployed to Syria.

    Syrian state TV reported the news on Monday after a visit to the airport by Prime Minister Hussein Arnus and Transport Minister Zuheir Khzeim.

    The Syrian prime minister confirmed what had previously been reported by Syrian and international media: that the Israeli airstrike had hit the takeoff and landing strips as well as a terminal of the airport.

    Syrian government media deny that the Israeli airstrike targeted military objectives, while the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) and other media say that Iran-linked militias were targeted inside the airport.

    In the June 9 attack, Syrian media report, one civilians was injured. Israel has for years targeted Iranian and Iran-linked military objectives in Syria.

    Civilian flights have for the time being been rerouted to Aleppo, Syrian metropolis largely destroyed by the war in the country that has been underway for the past 11 years and which is a bout 10 hours by car away from the capital, due to numerous checkpoints of the army and government-linked militias along the highway.

    For about 10 years, the Syrian central government - under the disputed president Bashar al-Assad and backed by Iran and Russia - has shared large parts of its territory with Iran-linked jihadist militias of Iraqi, Lebanese, and Afghan origins.

    Lebanon's Hezbollah and members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have since 2013 been deployed inside and outside the Damascus airport.

    This is one of the main junctions of Iranian influence, which stretches from Iran to the Mediterranean through Iraq and Syria.


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