Syria state media has confirmed that Damascus International Airport has suffered major damage – including to runways – following an Israeli missile attack.
The Syrian transport ministry said in a statement on Saturday that runways remained out of service at the capital’s airport following the attack on Friday, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.
“Landing and departing flights were suspended today till further notification as a result of the Israeli aggression, since it caused heavy damages to the airstrips in several localities and to the navigation lights in addition to the damages [that] occurred in the airport lobby,” SANA quoted from a ministry statement.
Israeli media is on Saturday describing an “unusually bitter condemnation” as Russia has lashed out at Israel’s latest airstrikes on Syria, which disabled Damascus International Airport.
Following the Friday pre-dawn raid, ostensibly against Iranian weapons shipments and assets according to Israeli reports, Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Friday evening slammed the—
“vicious practice” of Israeli strikes on civilian infrastructure, which it said were “provocative” and “in violation of the basic norms of international law.”
This week, and following a prior Israeli strike on Syria, Russian jets joined Syria’s air force in a rare joint patrol and exercise:
The ministry said two Russian SU-35 fighter jets and six Syrian MiG-23 and MiG-29 aircraft simulated facing “hostile” warplanes and drones. Syrian pilots dealt with them with cover and support from the Russian warplanes, it said.
“All illusive targets were monitored and completely destroyed while aerial targets were hit at night for the first time,” the Syrian Defense Ministry said in a statement. It also released a video of the warplanes that it said took part in the drill.
While Russia has in the past years of war provided Damascus with S-300 missile systems, it has typically not engaged Israel – but has in the last month stepped up warnings against Israeli overreaching in its purported ‘anti-Iranian’ operations over Syria.
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