Israel has staged hundreds of strikes on targets in Syria over the years but Friday was the first time an air strike caused damage leading to the suspension of flights.

The airport is located south of the capital Damascus where Syrian opposition activists say Iran-backed militiamen are active and have arms depots.
The airport is located south of the capital Damascus where Syrian opposition activists say Iran-backed militiamen are active and have arms depots. (Reuters)

An Israeli air strike that struck Damascus International Airport has caused “significant” damage to infrastructure and rendered the main runway unserviceable until further notice.

The statement by Syrian regime's transportation ministry on Saturday was the first detailing the extent of damage from Friday’s air strike.

Local media reported earlier that Syria suspended all flights to and from the airport and the ministry confirmed all flights were suspended because “some technical equipment stopped functioning at the airport."

Israel's military has declined to comment on the air strike.

Saturday’s statement said the runway had been damaged “in several locations” and that the strike also hit the airport’s second terminal building.

“As a result of these damages, incoming and outgoing flights through the airport were suspended until further notice,” it said.

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Suspension of flights

The airport is located south of the capital Damascus where Syrian opposition activists say Iran-backed militiamen are active and have arms depots.

Israel has for years carried out strikes in the area, including one on May 21 that resulted in a fire near the airport leading to the postponement of two flights. 

However, Friday's incident was the first time an air strike caused damage leading to the suspension of flights at the airport.

Israel has staged hundreds of strikes on targets in Syria over the years but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations. 

It says it targets bases of Iran-allied militias, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah group. 

The Syrian transportation ministry statement said civil aviation cadres and specialised units were working to remove debris and repair damage and that operations will resume as soon as flight safety can be ensured.

READ MORE: Israel 'strikes' Syrian regime positions near Damascus

Source: TRTWorld and agencies