Syrian airport to resume work days after Israeli strike
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s international airport in Aleppo is to resume business on Friday after the facility was put out of commission by an Israeli missile attack, the country’s transport ministry said.
The ministry said in a statement carried by state media that the damage has been fixed and called on airline companies to resume their flights to the city in northern Syria.
Israel launched a missile attack on Tuesday night targeting Aleppo’s airport for the second time in a week and all flights were diverted to the capital Damascus.
The Israeli strike tore large craters in three spots on the facility’s runway, satellite images analyzed Thursday by The Associated Press show.
The satellite images from Planet Labs PBC taken Wednesday show the airport’s single east-west runway bore three new craters. Vehicles and workers surrounded the two of the craters while the one furthest east had no traffic near it.
Israel also launched airstrikes at Aleppo airport last week, damaging its runway and, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, a warehouse that likely stored a shipment of Iranian rockets.
Last week’s strike tore a hole in the runway and also damaged a structure close to the military side of the airfield, satellite photos analyzed by The Associated Press showed.
“The airport will be working at full capacity to serve passengers and airline companies around the clock,” said the Transport Ministry adding that work will resume at noon Friday (0900 GMT).
On June 10, Israeli airstrikes that struck Damascus International Airport caused significant damage to infrastructure and runways and rendered the main runway unserviceable. The airport opened two weeks later following renovation work.
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations.
Israel has acknowledged, however, that it targets bases of Iran-allied militant groups, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.