Direct flights from Syria to Saudi Arabia for pilgrims participating in the annual hajj have resumed, marking the end of a 12-year hiatus since the onset of the civil war, as per a Syrian official. This development comes in the wake of a gradual reconciliation between the two governments, resulting in the restoration of diplomatic relations last year. The initial flight, carrying 270 Syrian pilgrims, departed from Damascus to Jeddah, with additional flights anticipated in the forthcoming days, revealed Suleiman Khalil, an official from the transport ministry. This marks the first instance of such flights since their suspension in 2012.

Khalil clarified that this decision specifically pertains to the hajj period, with the potential consideration for reinstating a direct air route under review. In May 2023, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attended the Arab summit in Saudi Arabia after a 13-year hiatus, signifying a reconciliation and reintegration of the country into the Arab community. Despite Saudi Arabia's advocacy for renewing ties with Assad, progress towards reconciliation has been gradual. It was only on Sunday that Saudi Arabia appointed a new ambassador to Damascus, over a year subsequent to the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two governments.