Israel strikes force closure of Syria airport: state media

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2023

DAMASCUS: Israeli air strikes on Aleppo airport in northern Syria caused the grounding of flights on Monday, Syrian state news agency SANA reported, citing a military source.

During more than 12 years of civil war in Syria, Israel has launched hundreds of air strikes on its territory, primarily targeting Iran-backed forces and Lebanese Hizbullah fighters as well as Syrian army positions.

“At about 4:30 am (0130 GMT) this morning, the Israeli enemy undertook an aerial aggression from the direction of the Mediterranean west of Latakia, targeting Aleppo International Airport,” the source said, adding the attack damaged the runway.

Israel rarely comments on strikes it carries out in Syria, but has repeatedly said it will not allow its arch-foe Iran to expand its presence in the country.

An Israeli army spokesperson on Monday told AFP: “We do not comment on reports in the foreign media.” Syrian transport ministry official Suleiman Khalil said the damage centred on the only functioning runway, adding that “maintenance teams will start repair work today to return the airport to service as quickly as possible”.

Flights were diverted to Damascus and Latakia airports, he told AFP. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said the strikes also targeted weapons depots at the adjacent Nayrab military airport.