ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Israel said to bomb Damascus airport, hours after it returned to operational status

Syrian media says runways targeted, putting it out of service again; no reports of casualties

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

This image circulating online purports to show smoke rising from a site in Damascus following an alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria, November 26, 2023. (Social media; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
This image circulating online purports to show smoke rising from a site in Damascus following an alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria, November 26, 2023. (Social media; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Alleged Israeli airstrikes on Sunday made Syria’s Damascus airport inoperable just hours after flights had resumed, following a similar attack last month.

Syrian media reported Israeli airstrikes against Damascus International Airport and other targets near the capital.

Syria’s state-run news agency, SANA, citing a military source, said Israeli fighter jets fired missiles from the Golan Heights and hit Damascus International Airport and a number of other sites in the area. The pro-government Sham FM radio said the runway at the airport was hit.

SANA claimed that Syrian air defenses intercepted “most” of the Israeli missiles. The Syrian military regularly claims to shoot down incoming missiles, which analysts largely dismiss as empty boasts.

The state-run agency said that “material damage” was caused to the airport, putting it out of service.

There were no reports of casualties in the strikes.

While Israel’s military does not, as a rule, comment on specific strikes in Syria, it has admitted to conducting hundreds of sorties against Iran-backed terror groups attempting to gain a foothold in the country, over the last decade.

The Israeli military says it attacks arms shipments believed to be bound for those groups, chief among them Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Additionally, airstrikes attributed to Israel have repeatedly targeted Syrian air defense systems.

There have been numerous alleged Israel strikes on Syria since the war between Israel and Hamas, a Hezbollah ally, began on October 7. Reported Israeli strikes on Damascus airport and Aleppo airport in the north on October 12 and October 22 put both facilities out of service.

Two ticketing offices in the capital said that flights had resumed from Damascus on Sunday, and local media also reported the resumption. Authorities had yet to make an official announcement.

Flights were rerouted to Latakia on the west coast after the October 22 strikes.

Damascus airport has been allegedly struck by Israel several times over the past year, as Israel is believed to be stepping up efforts to prevent the shipment of advanced weapons from Iran to its various Middle East proxies.

Agencies and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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