Aleppo airport shut following severe Israeli air strike

An Israeli air strike has reportedly hit the Aleppo airport on Tuesday, causing material damage and putting the airport out of service, according to Syrian state media. Syria’s transport ministry has announced that all earthquake aid flights will be re-routed following the Israeli air strike. The Israeli air strike was said to have been carried out from the direction of the Mediterranean Sea, west of Latakia, targeting Aleppo International Airport. The state news agency, Sana, did not immediately report any casualties resulting from the strike. Israeli officials have yet to comment on the operation.

Why Israel carries out air strikes in Syria

Israel has carried out numerous strikes on targets within government-controlled parts of Syria over the past few years, including attacks on the Damascus and Aleppo airports. However, the country rarely acknowledges or discusses the operations. It has been acknowledged, however, that Israel targets bases of Iran-allied militant groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support President Assad’s forces. Iran’s involvement in Syria’s civil war has been hidden by the Syrian government, which has repeatedly claimed that Iran only has military advisers in the country.

Previous Israeli air strikes in Syria

Aleppo was heavily damaged during Syria’s civil war and was again hit by an earthquake last month, which caused widespread destruction. Several countries have since sent aid shipments to the city’s airport. On February 9, Israeli air strikes targeted residential areas in Syria’s capital, Damascus, resulting in the deaths of at least five people and 15 injuries, according to the news agency.

The February strike was dubbed by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as “the deadliest Israeli attack in the Syrian capital” since the civil war began. A month prior to the February Israeli air strike, the Syrian army claimed that Israel’s military had fired missiles towards the capital’s international airport, causing two soldiers to be killed and putting the airport out of service. This attack reportedly came as a result of Israeli fears that the Damascus airport was being used to funnel Iranian weaponry into the country.

Image Credit: AFP

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