Syrian Conflict – Fierce Clashes Around The Damascus Airport

Damascus AirportThe road to the Damascus airport has been closed, and all flights have been canceled due to reports of fierce clashes with rebels in the surrounding area.

According to reports from BBC correspondents, the Syrian government seems to be mounting an unprecedented offensive attack against districts held by rebels in the cities east end.

The clashes came as phone and internet systems went down in the country.

Previously, the Syrian government has cut off internet access during major operations; however, correspondents say that a telephone, internet switch-off nation-wide is unprecedented.

Syria’s information minister said that “terrorists” had cut off access to the internet and engineers were trying to repair the fault.

Flights to and from the Damascus airport have been canceled since Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday evening, State TV reported that the road to the airport had been “secured” following millitary intervention. However, correspondents are reporting that the highway continues to be closed, and there have been more reports of fighting.

BBC reporter, Paul Wood ,reported from Beirut that it is believed the Syrian government has sent reinforcements to the area after mortars were fired at the runway.

A source from the Free Syrian Army told correspondents that the airport attack had been planned for quite some time, and rebel fighters had been “inching closer and closer” over the last couple of days and hours.

The goal of the plan was to take over the Damascus airport, and not just perform a hit-and-run attack.

The rebels involved in the attack were all from Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus.

There have also been reports that passengers are still trapped inside the Damascus airport terminal, and at an airport hotel. It appears that no rebels are inside the airport.

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