At least one missile reportedly struck the runway of Syria’s second-largest airport
In a second attack on the Aleppo international airport in the span of a week, at least one missile struck the runway while “several” were shot down by Syrian air defenses, the state media in Damascus reported on Tuesday evening, blaming Israel for the strike.
“Israeli aggression targeted the Aleppo airport,” the Syrian Arab News Agency reported on Tuesday, adding that air defenses “shot down a number” of missiles fired from international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea.
The strike involved at least five missiles and took the Aleppo airport out of service once again, according to several local reports, which could not be independently confirmed.
Tuesday evening’s attack is the second strike against the Aleppo airport in the space of a week. Last Wednesday, several Israeli missiles made it past the Syrian air defenses, striking and damaging the runway and disabling the airport. The same air raid caused damage at the Damascus international airport as well, but it remained operational.
According to the Russian military, on that occasion Israeli jets fired a total of 16 projectiles, including missiles and glide bombs. Syrian authorities said the Aleppo runway would be repaired by Friday.
The Aleppo airport had only reopened for civilian traffic in February 2020, having been badly damaged by the fighting with Western-backed militants seeking to overthrow the Syrian government. Civilian flights in and out of Syria were rerouted through Aleppo in June, after a series of Israeli strikes damaged the Damascus airport runway.
Israel has repeatedly struck Syria with missiles. On the rare occasions the Israeli government has acknowledged the attacks, it has described them as preemptive self-defense against Iran. Tehran has offered military aid to Damascus in recent years against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists and other radical militants.
Syria has denounced the strikes as illegal and unacceptable. The Foreign Ministry in Damascus informed the UN last week that Israel will “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.”