(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Yousef Masoud)
On 16 September, Israeli jet fighters launched renewed airstrikes on the surroundings of the Syrian capital, including Damascus International Airport.
A Syrian military source said five Syrian soldiers were killed due to the Israeli missile strike that targeted the airport and other sites south of the Syrian capital.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), quoting the military source, said Syrian air defenses repelled the attack and shot down most of the incoming missiles.
“Approximate at 12.45 a.m., the Israeli enemy carried out a missile aggression from the direction of the north-eastern side of Tiberias lake, targeting Damascus international airport and some points to the south of Damascus, as the Syrian air defense repelled the aggression missile and downed most of them,” a military source told SANA in a statement.
Syria’s Ministry of Transport announced on 17 September that no changes were made to scheduled flights, and that facilities are operating according to the usual air traffic.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the Israeli bombing targeted sites in the vicinity of Damascus International Airport and the Sayeda Zeinab area.
The SOHR claimed Israeli missiles hit warehouses housing air defense system and drones, supervised by the Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian-related armed groups.
The Israeli attack comes less than a month after Tel Aviv targeted both Damascus and Aleppo airports, bringing the latter out of service.
In June, Israeli airstrikes put Damascus airport temporarily out of service for nearly two weeks before being restarted.
The UN Syria Commissioner Lynn Welchmann told reporters in Geneva on 14 September that the Israeli airstrikes on Syria’s main airstrip “made it impossible for the UN to deliver humanitarian aid to Syrians in need.”
Since the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011, Israel has carried out numerous air strikes on its northern neighbor, Syria, targeting government forces as well as positions allegedly held by Iranian-backed militia and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters.