Unrelenting Israeli strikes knock down two Syrian airports

Syria's two main airports in the capital Damascus and northern city Aleppo, which were under control of the war-torn country, became out of service on Thursday owing to Israeli strikes, Syrian state media reports said.

Israeli strikes render Syrian airports inoperative. Photo courtesy: Facebook/Israel Defense Forces

Causing frequent grounding of the flights, the "simultaneous" strikes "damaged landing strips in the two airports, putting them out of service", news agency AFP reported quoting state media's unidentified military source.

The most recent attacks occurred amid a sustained exchange of fire between Hamas and Israel, which has been taking place for the sixth consecutive day after the surprise attack of Hamas on Israel on Oct 7 triggering a war. 

These strikes came during the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and hours after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi  in a telephone call with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, called on Arab and Islamic countries to cooperate in confronting Israel, reported AFP.

The Syrian state media called these strikes as a "desperate attempt" by Israel to "divert attention" away from the Hamas conflict in Gaza, reported AFP.

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Over the past decade, Israel has conducted hundreds of air strikes against its northern neighbour, predominantly targeting Iranian-backed forces, Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, and Syrian army outposts.

Israel has refrained from commenting on individual strikes conducted on Syria, but has repeatedly declared that it will not permit its arch-rival Iran, which supports Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, to expand its presence in the country.

On Saturday, Iran, which supports Hamas, issued a statement claiming that it was not responsible for the attack.