According to Syrian state media, the Israeli Air Force has once again carried out an airstrike at the airport in Aleppo in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
“At 02:07 a.m. on Tuesday, an airstrike was carried out from the direction of the Mediterranean Sea by the Israeli military, west of Lattakia, targeted Aleppo International Airport. According to a statement from a military source to the Syrian government news agency SANA, the attack caused material damage and resulted in the airport going out of service.”
According to the source, the airport has been closed due to the strike and the damage it caused. The report also states that Syria’s air defences were activated during the attack, but it is unclear whether any interceptions were made. While Syria often claims to intercept Israeli missiles, military analysts have doubts about these claims’ accuracy.
Local media reports indicate multiple explosions were heard in Aleppo, Idleb, and Lattakia governorates. The explosions were reportedly caused by Israeli airstrikes targeting military sites near Aleppo International Airport and Neirab Military Airport.
According to local and pro-Syrian regime sources, the Israeli airstrikes targeted the runway of Aleppo International Airport, rendering it inoperable, and also hit the “80th Brigade” headquarters near the airport with missiles.
There was no comment from the Israel Defense Forces, in line with its policy of not generally commenting on air raids in Syria.
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 President Bashar Assad’s forces.
Diverting the landing of aid planes from Aleppo airport
Following the airstrike, the Assad government announced that aid planes for the earthquake and other flights would be rerouted to other airports.
The Syrian regime’s Ministry of Transport stated on its Facebook account that “as a result of the recent airstrike targeting Aleppo International Airport, it has been decided to redirect the landing of humanitarian relief aid planes to those affected by the earthquake, as well as scheduled flights, to Damascus and Lattakia airports.”
Numerous relief planes from various countries worldwide have landed at Syrian regime-controlled airports following the destructive earthquake that hit southern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6th.
Israeli warplanes carried out a series of airstrikes on February 19th, targeting several sites belonging to Iranian militias in both the central area of Damascus and the Suweida governorate. These airstrikes were the most intense of their kind since the beginning of the year.
Israeli website reveals reason for raids
Israel-Alma Website revealed the reason behind the airstrikes against the Aleppo Airport.
“The attack last night may have resulted from targeted intelligence indicating the presence of advanced weapons at the airfield or as a preemptive measure in anticipation of the arrival of weapons at this location,” the website reported.
“We have received an interesting local report that may be related to the attack. According to the report, on March 1st, the Shiite axis began partially evacuating the Al-Jarrah airport located east of Aleppo, where there is also a significant Russian presence,” it added.
The website reported that Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), operated from Jarrah airfield, were transported to the Neirab military compound located within the Aleppo airport. The UAVs were concealed within closed trucks, which outwardly resembled refrigerated food transport trucks. The evacuation reportedly occurred six months after the Jarrah airfield was prepared for the Shiite axis UAV fleet.