Syria Rebels: Damascus Airport a ‘Fair Target’

Faction Sieging Airport Insists Regime's Defense Makes It a Military Site

by Jason Ditz, December 07, 2012

The Syrian rebel faction which has been laying siege to the Damascus airport over the last few weeks announced today that it now considers the airport a “military target” and that any civilians who enter the airport are fair game.

The spokesman for the faction says that the decision is based on the military’s defense of the airport from their previous attempts to seize it, and they say that they have waited to make the declaration to give airlines time to cancel flights into the city.

Many airlines cancelled flights long ago, particularly as the Free Syrian Army (FSA) has insisted civilian aircraft flying anywhere in Syrian airspace are “legitimate” targets. The airport is still used by diplomats trying to negotiate a ceasefire, as well as flights from nations like Russia and Iran, which retain good ties with the Assad government.

While it seems unlikely that rebels could successfully capture and hold the airport at this point, but given some rebel groups’ penchant for suicide bombings the declaration of it as a “fair target” could mean very damaging attacks happening at any time.

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