Syrian capital airport to resume flights after Israeli airstrike

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Flights will resume at the Syrian capital’s international airport nearly two weeks after an Israeli airstrike wreaked havoc on the facility, state television reported Wednesday.

The outlet quoted the transport ministry as saying that flights would resume at Damascus International Airport on Thursday, adding that all companies “should arrange arrival and departure flights from that date.”

The Israeli airstrike on 10 June caused significant damage to infrastructure and runways, rendering the main runway unusable.

Work to repair the damage has continued since then, with most flights being diverted to the international airport in the northern city of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city.

The Israeli military declined to comment on the airstrike at Damascus airport. The facility is located south of the capital, and Syrian opposition activists say Iran-backed militias are active and have arsenals.

Israel has launched hundreds of attacks on targets in Syria over the years, but such actions are rarely acknowledged or discussed. The airport strike marks a major escalation in the Israeli election campaign, Further escalating tensions between Israel on one side and Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah in another.

Israel said it was targeting Iran-aligned militias bases such as Hezbollah, whose fighters deployed in Syria fought alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s government forces and transported weapons believed to be destined for the militias.

Tuesday, Syrian private airline Cham Wings flights Landing at an airfield used by the Russian military in the western Syrian coastal province of Latakia. The plane has landed at an air base for the first time since the strike at Damascus airport.

It was also the first Syrian international flight to land at the facility since Russia took over the facility after joining the Syrian war in September 2015, helping to tip the balance of power in favor of Assad’s forces.

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