Israeli airstrikes ripped through Syria’s primary airport, Damascus International, on Friday, an event that has gone almost completely unreported in Western media and has attracted no attention from the “international community”. Such an unprovoked attack could have led to war in normal circumstances, yet Syria decided to take the issue to the UN instead.
In a damning indictment of the international community and a demonstration of the true power of international law, what should have been reported as a major international incident has been reduced to a non-story in the Western press. Damascus International Airport was struck with a multitude of missiles last Friday morning, in another unprovoked Israeli attack against Syria. The civilian runway was destroyed in three separate areas, as was the military runway nearby, the airport itself was also heavily damaged as the result of a number of blasts.
According to Syrian State-media, the country’s air defense managed to shoot down the majority of incoming missiles, confirming that a civilian was also injured. “As a result of this damage, all arriving and departing flights at the airport have been suspended until further notice,” said Syria’s transport ministry. All flights were quickly changed to land in Aleppo, whilst reconstruction efforts were announced to be on the way.
Israeli media reports later claimed that the attack was likely over the alleged transfer of weapons through the airport, which Tel Aviv’s media apparatus have claimed are being transferred from Iran and are later transported across the Lebanese-Syrian border into the hands of Hezbollah. There is, however, no evidence for these claims, nor would such a transfer justify the illegal strikes, and according to aerial photographs of the damage caused, there are no scorch marks that can be observed from the Israeli airstrikes, indicating that no equipment was destroyed.
What is most notable about this attack, is that the civilian side of the site was heavily bombarded. According to international law, Israel’s actions constitute a violation of Syrian sovereignty as well as a blatant warcrime due to the nature of what was hit. There has been no official confirmation from Tel Aviv to justify their actions — a common theme when the Israeli air-force routinely bombards Syria.
Israel has launched as many as 100 separate attacks against Syria since 2018, killing countless Syrian soldiers and civilians in the process. Israel has bombarded Syria’s key port of Latakia twice, destroying food and other essential supplies destined to be used by a Syrian population suffering through an economic meltdown. The Trump-era “Caesar Act” sanctions, enforced by the United States and Europe, have had a catastrophic effect on the Syrian economy, caused fuel and electricity shortages, and has verifiably restricted the entry of vital medical supplies into the country.
Since 2018, the Syrian Arab Army has not been given the okay a single time to respond to successive Israeli assaults against their nation’s vital economic and military infrastructure, with the only course of action coming through the form of complaints issued to the United Nations. This makes the issue an important one to note, exposing the complete and utter uselessness of the UN — if you are not working for a Western cause that is. Israel’s attacks are clear cut violations of international law and have murdered countless civilians, yet not a single word is uttered in condemnation by any Western nation, especially not the United States.
The truth is that Israel uses Syria as its punching bag. When it is frustrated by embarrassments on other fronts and wishes to flex its muscles, the Israeli Government annihilates targets on Syrian territory. The strikes achieve two primary objectives, in terms of their application as a means of psychological warfare; they affirm Israel’s military dominance over Arabs to the Israeli population, and serve to show the Syrian people that their government is weak and incapable of defending them. On the military side of things, occasionally Israel will successfully hit weapons depots, or kill fighters aligned with Iran, but primarily the strikes will cause damage to the Syrian air defense forces and strike a lot of soft targets.
What Syria has proven, with its complete inaction against Israel and refusal to fire a single missile back in self-defense, is that without the use of force, the West will not listen to you. Syria is the most clear cut case of the need for armed resistance to confront Israel. International law means nothing unless you have major world players acting to implement it, and when we talk about those who have the means to do that, it is undoubtably the West. Yet, the Western nations themselves operate with impunity because of their military might. In theory, the United Nations and international law should be a means with which poor nations can protect themselves. In reality, however, there is no such thing as international law on anything but paper, and its only application is for influencing public opinion.
If Syrians, Palestinians, and Lebanese want to be protected and have their human rights respected, this must be done through armed struggle, the legally defined right of armed resistance by an occupied state. There is a reason that Israel does not strike Lebanon regularly, as it does Syria. This is because Hezbollah will send ballistic missiles into Israeli military bases and launch military operations on the ground to kill and capture Israeli soldiers. Israel also used to routinely strike the Gaza Strip, however, since the armed groups in Gaza demonstrated that they have the military capability to exact a significant price against their enemy, the Israeli military has refrained from taking such action. Eventually, Syria will have to respond to Israel, and the desire for this is extremely high inside Syria itself. Syrians are fed up with Tel Aviv’s aggression and clearly see that, unless their army responds by hitting Israel in return, the Western world will not even bother showing Israeli aggression on their media.
It is no surprise that Western corporate media is not talking about Israel’s attack on Damascus International Airport, nor is it a surprise that Israel gets away with its illegal actions, without so much as a word of condemnation from Washington. This is the world we live in, Israel and the West only understand one language, the language of violence, and hence, this is the language that Syria will inevitably begin to speak when the time is right for it to do so. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. Only through armed struggle will the Arab world prevent the violation of their rights, this is the message that has been communicated to the entire world here. There is no rules-based international system, everything is achieved through force.