Fighting cuts off Damascus airport, flights suspended

Syrian rebels battled forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad just outside Damascus on Thursday, restricting access to its international airport, and the Dubai-based Emirates airline and EgyptAir stopped flights to the Syrian capital.

A rebel fighter who identified himself as Abu Omar, a member of the Jund Allah brigade, told Reuters that insurgents fired mortars at the airport's runways and were blocking the road linking it with the capital. He said insurgents were not inside the airport but were able to block access to and from it. A source in a Damascus rebel unit said mortars had been used in clashes near the airport but did not know whether rebels had fired mortars directly at the airport.

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