Reported Israeli strikes on Aleppo airport leave it out of service
The Israeli military attacked Aleppo International Airport in the early hours of Tuesday morning, according to Syrian state media.
The Syrian state news agency, Sana, made no reports of casualties but it said the airport was now out of service as a result of the attack.
The attack struck at 02:07 am with the air strikes reportedly coming from the Mediterranean, west of Latakia, leading to material damage to the airport.
Aleppo’s airport has been heavily used for aid deliveries to earthquake-hit zones in northern Syria. The earthquakes that struck in Turkey a month ago left more than 50,000 dead, including around 6,000 in Syria. sparking a humanitarian crisis.
Syria’s air defences were activated in the lead-up to the attack but it was not clear if there were any interceptions of incoming missiles.
The Israeli military made no comments following the attack, a stance it has normally kept in previous assaults on Syria.
Israel has conducted hundreds of air strikes in Syria since 2011, targeting government troops, Iran-backed fighters and Hezbollah members. However, targeting airports and paralysing aviation has become more frequent in recent months.
At the start of this year, the Israeli military attacked Damascus International Airport, putting it temporarily out of service and leaving two Syrian soldiers dead.
Last month, at least five people were killed when suspected Israeli air strikes hit residential neighbourhoods and other locations in Damascus.
Intensification of attacks
Israel has intensified its attacks on Syrian airports in a bid to disrupt growing flights between Tehran and Damascus, which it views as a corridor to transport weapons.
According to a report from the Israeli Alma Research and Education Center, which is linked to the Israeli security establishment, Iranian airlines flew at least 110 times to Damascus International Airport in 2022.
Iranian airlines also flew at least 39 times to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut, according to the report.
Israel began to target Damascus airport and its environs at least as early as May 2013. More Israeli raids on the airport ensued in 2014, and later in 2017, 2018 and 2019, resulting in scores of casualties.
In a series of tweets last week, the Israeli army highlighted that it will accelerate strikes targeting Iranian assets.
“We are conducting an accelerated campaign between campaigns - and not only in Syria. To this end, we have carried out dozens of strikes with hundreds of armaments in the past year,” it said.
“We see that our course of action in Syria is an example of how continuous and persistent military action leads to shaping and influencing the entire region,” it said, adding that “we will not accept Hezbollah 2.0 in Syria”.
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