Flights resume at Syrian capital’s airport after Israeli strike

DAMACUS, Syria (AP) — The international airport in Damascus, the Syrian capital, resumed flights Thursday after nearly two weeks following an Israeli airstrike that caused severe damage to the facility, said a private company.

Cham Wings Airlines said it had four flights that took off from Damascus International Airport on Thursday bound for Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq.

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

Shortly after the strike, work began to repair the damage and flights were mostly diverted to Aleppo International Airport, Syria’s largest city, in the north of the country.


The Israeli military declined to comment on the airstrike. The facility is located just south of Damascus, where Syrian opposition activists say Iran-backed militiamen are active and have weapons depots.

Israel has staged hundreds of strikes against targets in Syria over the years, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations. The airport strike marked a major escalation in Israel’s campaign, further heightening tensions between Israel on the one hand and Iran and its Lebanese ally, the militant group Hezbollah, on the other.

Israel says it is targeting bases of Iran-allied militias, such as Hezbollah, which has fighters deployed in Syria fighting alongside President Bashar Assad’s government forces and shipping weapons believed to be destined for the militias.

On Tuesday, a Cham Wings Airlines flight from the United Arab Emirates landed at an airport used by the Russian military in Syria’s western coastal province of Latakia. The flight was the first to land at the airbase since the Damascus airport strike.

It was also the first Syrian international flight to land at the facility since Russia took control of it after joining the war in Syria in September 2015, helping to tip the balance of power in favor of the forces. Asad.