Wage strike paralyzes transport in the Tunisian capital
AMMAN: The Israeli army fired missiles at the Syrian capital’s international airport on Monday morning, briefly knocking it out of service and killing two soldiers and wounding two others, the Syrian army said.
A volley of air-launched missiles hit the airport at 2 a.m., the military said in a statement. They had come from the direction of Lake Tiberias in Israel.
Missiles also hit targets in southern Damascus, killing two members of the Syrian armed forces and causing damage, the army said.
The Department of Transportation said in an online statement that workers had cleared debris from the strikes and flights would resume at 9 a.m.
Earlier, two regional intelligence sources said the strikes hit an outpost near the airport of Iran’s Quds Force and the militias it supports. Their presence has expanded in Syria in recent years.
The Israel Defense Forces did not immediately comment on the attack.
Last year, Israel intensified its strikes on Damascus International Airport and other civilian airports to disrupt Tehran’s growing use of air supply lines to deliver weapons to its allies in Syria and Lebanon, including Hezbollah.
Syria halted flights to and from the airport in June for nearly two weeks after Israeli strikes caused extensive damage to infrastructure, including a runway and terminal.
Israel fired missiles at Damascus International again in September, when it also hit the country’s second-largest civilian airport in the northern city of Aleppo, knocking it out of action for several days.
Western and regional intelligence sources say Tehran has adopted civilian airlift as a more reliable means of transporting military equipment to its forces and to allied fighters in Syria, following Israel’s disruption of ground supplies.
Israel says its so-called ‘between the wars campaign’ in Syria began a decade ago, on January 30, 2013, with a strike against Russian-supplied SA-17 air defense batteries that Damascus intended to hand over to Hezbollah.
Four such strikes took place that year, but the pace has accelerated to around one a week now, the head of the Israeli armed forces, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, said last month.
Iran’s proxy militias, led by Lebanon’s Hezbollah, now dominate large areas in eastern, southern and northwestern Syria and in several suburbs around the capital.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government has never publicly acknowledged that Iranian forces were operating on its behalf in Syria’s civil war, saying Tehran only has military advisers on the ground.
Last month, Kohavi claimed responsibility for an airstrike on a convoy that entered Syria from Iraq, saying the target was a truck carrying Iranian weapons.