Damascus Airport Becomes A Target In Syria's War | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Damascus Airport Becomes A Target In Syria's War

Syrian rebels declared the Damascus International Airport a "military zone" on Friday as part of their push to seize important symbolic and strategic locations held by President Bashar Assad's government.

Rebels say the airport is a camp for Syrian government soldiers and is the main transit point for weaponry believed to be supplied by Russia and Iran.

Nabil al-Amir, a rebel spokesman representing the Damascus Military Council, said that opposition fighters "waited two weeks for the airport to be emptied of most civilians and airlines" before it was deemed a legitimate target, reports Reuters.

The airport has been operating sporadically in recent days owing to fighting in the area, south of Damascus, according to media reports.

The Associated Press, citing an unidentified airport official, reported that fighting had closed the main highway leading to the airport on Friday. But the official said people were reaching the airport on side roads and the facility was functioning as normal.

In another development Friday, Syrian rebels in Istanbul elected a command of 30 members, most of whom have ties to Islamist groups. A delegate told Reuters: "The command has been organized into several fronts. We are now in the process of electing a military leader and a political liaison officer for each region." American, French and British security officials were also present during the meetings, along with representatives from Arab nations.

The move precedes next week's meeting of the American-backed "Friends of Syria" group in Marrakech, Morocco. The coalition comprises dozens of nations seeking to bolster support for the Syrian opposition and increase pressure on Assad.

Many Syrians, meanwhile, say bread prices are skyrocketing and problems such as power outages are becoming more common.

"We go and look in destroyed houses for wood to make a fire," Abu Khaled, a father of two, told AFP in Homs. "Our bread is made from old flour, dirty water and a bit of salt. But we still say: 'Thank God, we are alive.' "

Sophia Jones is an intern with NPR News.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Single-Named Singers From The Present And Past

Every answer is the name of a famous, one-named singer like Madonna or Beyoncé. Identify each one from its anagram, to which one extra letter is added. The singers are a mix of past and present.
NPR

No Resume? Criminal Background? No Problem At This Yonkers Bakery

Social justice is part of the recipe at New York's Greyston Bakery. The firm, whose clients include Ben & Jerry's, hires locals whose legal status or work history might otherwise make them unhirable.
NPR

Senate Blocks Measures To Extend NSA Data Collection

The Senate worked late into the night but was not able to figure out what to do about expiring provisions in the Patriot Act that authorize the NSA's bulk collection of Americans' phone records.
NPR

The Future Of Cardiology Will Be Shown In 3-D

The Living Heart Project aims to create a detailed simulation of the human heart that doctors and engineers can use to test experimental treatments and interventions.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.