Israeli missiles damaged the international airports of Aleppo and Damascus
Wednesday evening’s missile attack temporarily disabled the Aleppo international airport but also caused damage to the one in Damascus, the Syrian government said on Thursday. Syria blamed Israel for this attack. It is also the first instance in which both civilian airports were targeted simultaneously.
Major General Oleg Oleg Egorov (deputy chief of Russian peacemaking mission to Damascus) stated that 16 Israeli F-16s fired projectiles out of Syria’s airspace. Three of the missiles were destroyed by Syrian air defenses. However, the rest struck facilities in Aleppo, Damascus and other locations, Egorov said.
The Syrian transport ministry stated that the Aleppo runway had been damaged, but work is ongoing. According to them, traffic will be allowed to return to Aleppo by Friday noon. Damascus’ airport was damaged. “did not affect”Operation, said the ministry.
“Syria retains its full rights to hold the Israeli occupation authorities accountable and bear all legal, moral, political and financial responsibilities for deliberately targeting the international airports of Damascus and Aleppo and for endangering civilian facilities and lives,”According to state news agency SANA, the Syrian Foreign Ministry wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General and Security Council.
Back in June, a series of Israeli strikes took the Damascus airport out of service for several weeks, with traffic being rerouted to Aleppo – which had only reopened in February 2020, after being damaged in the decade-long civil war. Wednesday’s strike is the first known instance of Israel attacking both of Syria’s active international airports.
Near the Khmeimim Airbase, the international airport of Latakia has been used by the Russian Expeditionary Force. It is not a potential target for Israeli attack and so far it has been safe.
Israel has attacked Syria repeatedly with missiles. These have been fired mostly from Lebanese territory or the occupied Golan Heights. Israel’s government has said that the attack was preemptive defense against Iran. Jerusalem did not acknowledge the incident. In recent years, Tehran offered military assistance to Damascus against terrorists from Islamic State (formerly ISIS), and other extremist militants.
The London-based Iran International claimed that Wednesday’s strike was aimed at preventing an Iranian cargo plane from landing, first in Aleppo and then in Damascus. The plane reportedly belongs to an airline the US has designated as affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and placed under sanctions.