ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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Israeli airstrikes hit Aleppo airport for second time in weeks — Syrian media

No reports of casualties in early morning attack, which has forced runway in northern Syrian city to close again

Illustrative: A screenshot from Twitter showing a fire at Aleppo airport following an alleged Israeli airstrike, March 22, 2023. (Screenshot/Twitter; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Illustrative: A screenshot from Twitter showing a fire at Aleppo airport following an alleged Israeli airstrike, March 7, 2023. (Screenshot/Twitter; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The Israeli Air Force allegedly carried out an airstrike at the airport in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo in the early hours of Wednesday morning, according to Syria’s state-run media outlet.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, but the state news agency, SANA, said some damage had been caused at the airport. It was the second time Aleppo International Airport has been hit in recent weeks.

According to an official notice sent by Syrian aviation authorities, known as a NOTAM, the runway at the airport was closed.

SANA, citing a military source, said the Israeli fighter jets launched several missiles at the airport from over the Mediterranean sea, causing explosions to be heard in other regions.

Two unnamed “regional intelligence sources” speaking to the Reuters news agency said the airstrike also targeted an underground munitions depot at the adjacent Nairab military airport. The sources said the site was used to store missile-guided systems that had been delivered by Iranian cargo flights.

There was no comment from the Israel Defense Forces, in line with its policy of not generally commenting on air raids in Syria. Israel is believed to have carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years, including attacks on the Damascus and Aleppo airports, but it rarely acknowledges or discusses the operations.

Israel has acknowledged, however, that it targets bases of Iran-allied groups, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces. Israel views Iran’s expansion throughout Syria as a continued threat to its national security, and has conducted strikes across a broad range of targets in an effort to curb Iran’s forces in the region.

Aleppo International was hit with airstrikes attributed to Israel earlier this month and forced to shut its runway for several days.

Days later, Israel carried out a rare daytime strike against targets in northwestern Syria, injuring three soldiers and causing damage, the state-run broadcaster SANA said.

Aleppo, which suffered widespread destruction in Syria’s civil war, was heavily damaged in the deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria last month. A number of countries have since sent aid shipments to the city’s airport, including Iran, an ally of Syria.

Iran and Syria called the airstrike against the airport earlier this month a “crime against humanity.”

In January, the Syrian army said Israel’s military fired missiles toward the Damascus international airport, putting it out of service temporarily and killing two soldiers. That attack came amid Israeli fears the Damascus airport was being used to funnel Iranian weaponry into the country.

Last August, Syria accused Israel of being behind two consecutive airstrikes at Aleppo International Airport and a site near the Damascus Airport, as Israel was said to be ramping up its efforts to target airports to counter Tehran’s growing use of commercial flights to bring military supplies into the country.

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