(Photo Credit: Reuters/A. Cohen)
The Israeli air force launched a new attack targeting Aleppo International Airport in the early hours of 7 March, damaging its runway and forcing aid deliveries for quake-struck Syria to be redirected to Latakia and Damascus airports.
Breaking News: Israeli airstrikes on Aleppo International Airport, Syria pic.twitter.com/iaLj8NKIkf
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According to Syrian state media, the country’s air defense systems intercepted several of the missiles launched from the direction of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Israeli attack comes just one month after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake decimated Syria’s northwest. Aleppo International Airport was being used as the central hub for receiving humanitarian aid planes.
Ahead of Tuesday’s aggression, over 80 humanitarian flights had landed at Aleppo airport, according to a transport ministry official who spoke with AFP.
“There is no longer a possibility to receive any new aid planes until the damage to [the airport] is repaired,” Suleiman Khalil told the French news outlet.
This attack marks the second time Israel has bombed Syria over the past month.
On 18 February, at least five people died, and 15 were critically injured in Damascus after Israeli warplanes dropped bombs on a residential neighborhood.
In the days following the earthquake, Israeli officials warned that Tel Aviv would “not hesitate” to bomb Iranian aid deliveries for disaster-struck Syria under claims that Tehran seeks to “take advantage of the tragic situation … to send weapons and equipment to Hezbollah.”
Israel has been launching hundreds of attacks inside Syria for nearly a decade, allegedly targeting suspected Iranian and Hezbollah positions. Israeli warplanes at times bombed Syrian army positions to assist offensives of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front during the Western, Turkish, and Gulf-backed Salafist insurgency that began in 2011.
In response to Tuesday’s attack, the Iranian Foreign Ministry called Israel’s actions “a crime against humanity.”
“While those affected by the earthquake in Aleppo are going through difficult conditions, the Zionist entity is attacking Aleppo Airport, which is the main route for international aid to reach them, and this is a clear example of a crime against humanity,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani told reporters.
He also chided western nations and rights groups for not condemning the “inhumane” attacks on Syrian soil, calling their silence “an example of encouraging the aforementioned entity as an aggressor and violator of human rights and international laws and regulations.”