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Syria: Flights halted in Damascus after Israeli missiles fired from Golan

Most strikes were intercepted, but those that managed to land wounded one civilian and caused material damage, Syrian government says
A handout picture released by the official SANA on March 7, 2022, shows people inspecting a damaged building following Israeli missile strikes before dawn near the capital Damascus. (AFP)
People inspect a damaged building following Israeli missile strikes near Damascus in March 2022, launched to prevent Iran gaining a foothold in Syria (AFP)

Syria halted flights to and from Damascus airport on Friday after Israeli missile strikes damaged a runway.

Syrian state media, Sana, has reported that the strikes on southern Damascus were launched from the occupied Golan Heights at around 4.20am.

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While Syrian air defences intercepted most of the missiles, those that managed to hit Damascus left at least one civilian wounded and caused material damage, it said.

The transport ministry said the "suspension" of incoming and outgoing flights through Damascus international airport was due to technical disruptions. However, an airport employee told AFP that the dawn strikes by Israel had “affected” the facility. 

An official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity said separately that an airport landing strip had been hit during the assault, which was also reported by the newspaper Al-Watan. 

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Israeli raids hit arms depots near Damascus airport belonging to Hezbollah and other Iran-backed groups. 

The human rights monitor said that at least three positions were hit, leaving several people wounded. 

Since the civil war began in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes against Syria, targeting government troops, Iran-backed forces and Hezbollah fighters. 

While Israel rarely comments on single air strikes, it has acknowledged carrying out hundreds of them, which it says are necessary to prevent Iran from gaining a foothold in Syria. 

The conflict, which started as peaceful protests that were met with government brutality, has resulted in nearly half a million deaths and displaced half the population. 

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