What does the compound, containing shipping containers marked with DHL and UN logos within Damascus International Airport function as?
Recently, media outlets affiliated with the Syrian opposition, and others, reported that the radical Shiite axis led by Iran had converted shipping containers, painted with the international shipping company DHL and the United Nations logos, into an intermediate arms storage complex. The containers are located within Damascus International Airport.
After examining the existing information on the subject, indications emerge that the complex itself and its containers, have known to exist since 2010. It is unknown when the DHL and UN logos were painted on the containers. According to one indication, the containers may have been painted with the mentioned logos as early as 2017. The following are some additional findings from the analyses we made:
Observing the complex’s most recent aerial-photos of 2021, it is apparent that both the UN and DHL share the compound.
DHL is indeed active in Syria and it has headquarters located in central Damascus.
According to recent aerial-photos, there appears to be a great deal of truck traffic within the compound, which seemingly contradicts the assumption that it serves as a temporary storage complex for weapons waiting transportation to more permanent warehouses in Syria. Additionally, one can observe within the compound yellow vehicles seemingly affiliated with DHL vehicles in the aerial-photos.
Indications deriving from publications in 2011 show that DHL intended to open an administrative building, warehouses and an operations building near Damascus International Airport, within two months from the publication.
From the Pan Arab Companies Registry + DHL China website, we were able to locate DHL phone numbers, P.O.B. and an address in the area in question. The address mentioned is in the area of Al-Ghizlaniyah, near a bridge adjacent to the Damascus International Airport highway, which is just over one km from the compound.
Based on the findings we were able to discover, it is very difficult to corroborate the publication regarding the use of the container complex as a weapons storage depot for the radical Shiite axis led by Iran. All of the above findings actually reinforce the assumption that the compound truly does belong to the international shipping company DHL. On the other hand, a search for any formal mention or any indication of a UN compound at Damascus airport turned up negative. In addition, one could ask; why would there be a joint compound for a commercial company such as DHL and the UN?
If we analyze the entire compound carefully, we can actually see that it is divided into two: The first smaller part (Area A.) on the left, one can see two DHL painted hangars/containers and another white hangar attached to them on the right. The yellow vehicles are parked near this area. The second larger part (Area B.) on the right of the first part, one can identify three DHL hangars/containers, five UN hangars/containers, and another four /five grey/white unidentified hangars/containers.
For comparison, we examined the DHL complex at Rafic Hariri International Airport – Beirut. There are distinguished differences between the airports and the DHL complexes within them. In the international airport of Beirut, the DHL complex visibly stands out. The DHL vehicles are obvious and unmistakable and Google Maps verify the compound.
In conclusion, Knowing the way the radical Shi’ite axis led by Iran operates, it is impossible to completely rule out the presence of an arms storage compound in the area in question at Damascus international airport. In our estimation, the DHL compound located there actually exists and is functional. However, it is likely that there is another compound adjacent to the DHL civilian compound, which serves as a military weapons depot. The compound is disguised as a civilian complex, altering its true military function by marking the hangars / containers with the DHL and UN logos, thus, optimistically preventing a military strike.