Russian Ambassador to Syria Alexander Efimov has strongly condemned the latest Israeli missile attack on the Damascus International Airport, calling on the Tel Aviv regime to put an end to its vicious acts and naked aggression or await serious repercussions.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Arabic-language al-Watan daily, Efimov stated that such irresponsible moves pose great dangers to civilian aircraft and civil aviation, and that the Israeli regime must stop such wicked actions straight away.
The airport was targeted by a volley of missiles fired from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights at approximately 4:20 a.m. local time (01:20 GMT) on Friday, state media reported.
The Syrian Ministry of Transport said in a statement on Saturday that runways remained out of service at the airport following the attack.
“Landing and departing flights were suspended today till further notification as a result of the Israeli aggression, since it caused heavy damage to the airstrips in several localities and to the navigation lights in addition to the damage [that] occurred in the airport lobby,” the statement read.
The ministry added that flights are expected to resume in cooperation with air carriers as soon as repair work is concluded.
The Russian ambassador to Damascus also denounced the Turkish military operation as “a flagrant violation of Syria’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” blaming Turkish offensives for the escalation of tensions and insecurity in the northern part of the war-ravaged country.
The Russian diplomat stressed that the deployment of Syrian government forces along the Turkish-Syrian border can only guarantee security in the region, arguing that the Turkish military campaign inside Syria comes despite the Ankara government’s official statements in which it claims to be respectful of its neighbor’s sovereignty.
Efimov also dismissed reports of disagreements between Russia and Iran over Syria, saying Moscow and Tehran are cooperating closely with each other to work out an effective solution to the ongoing Syrian conflict.
He underscored that the presence of Iranian and Russian military advisors on Syrian soil follows a request from the Damascus government.
The Russian ambassador further noted that Moscow and Tehran are working in close cooperation with each other and are carrying out various missions without any competition.
High time Israelis left Palestinian lands: Abbas
Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Palestinians will never compromise one iota of their lands, stressing that it is high time for the Tel Aviv regime to leave the occupied territories.
He made the remarks at a meeting with a US delegation headed by the Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Barbara Leaf in the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Saturday.
Abbas said the status quo cannot be tolerated in the absence of a political mechanism aimed at the international protection of the Palestinian people, as well as Israel’s failure to fulfill its obligations under international agreements and resolutions.
“Our goal is to get rid of the occupation on the basis of international resolutions. East al-Quds is and will remain the eternal capital of the State of Palestine,” the Palestinian president pointed out.
Abbas noted that mass incursions by extremist Jewish settlers into al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied Old City of al-Quds, the ongoing expulsion of Palestinians from al-Quds, demolition of their homes, and targeted killings of Palestinians have become daily realities under Israel’s military occupation.
“We will not compromise on our national principles and we will remain steadfast in our land. It is time for the Occupation to leave,” he underlined.
Abbas stressed that the Palestinian leadership “is in the process of taking measures to confront the Israeli escalation, in light of the inability of the international community to compel the regime to comply with international resolutions and to stop its criminal practices of ethnic cleansing and racial discrimination.”