Syria’s Aleppo airport to reopen after Israel strikes

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BEIRUT: Syria’s international airport in Aleppo will reopen on Friday after being knocked out by an Israeli missile attack, according to the country’s transport ministry.

The ministry stated in a statement broadcast by state media that the damage had been repaired and that airlines should restart flights to the northern Syrian city.

For the second time in a week, Israel launched a missile attack on Aleppo’s airport on Tuesday night, diverting all aircraft to Damascus.

According to satellite pictures assessed Thursday by The Associated Press, the Israeli strike ripped massive craters in three locations on the facility’s runway.

Planet Labs PBC satellite pictures from Wednesday reveal three new craters on the airport’s single east-west runway. Two of the craters were surrounded by vehicles and workers, but the one to the east was deserted.

Last week, Israel also launched attacks on Aleppo airport, damaging its runway and a facility that presumably housed a supply of Iranian rockets, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor.

According to satellite photographs analyzed by The Associated Press, the strike last Thursday tore a hole in the runway and apparently destroyed a facility near the military side of the airstrip.

“The airport will be operating at full capacity to service passengers and airline businesses throughout the clock,” the Transport Ministry stated, adding that operations will resume at noon on Friday (0900 GMT).

Israeli airstrikes on Damascus International Airport on June 10 caused considerable damage to infrastructure and runways, rendering the main runway inoperable. Following renovations, the airport reopened two weeks later.

In recent years, Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled areas of Syria, but seldom admits or discusses such operations.

However, Israel has admitted that it targets Iranian-allied militant groups’ sites, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has supplied hundreds of men to bolster Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army.

Source: AP

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