Israeli airstrikes hit Syria’s Aleppo airport for the second time within three days, again knocking it out of service amid Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.
“At about 11:35 pm on Saturday, October 14, 2023, the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial attack from the direction of the Mediterranean Sea, west of Lattakia, targeting Aleppo International Airport, which led to material damage to the airport putting it out of service,” a military source told Syria’s SANA news agency.
“This new act of aggression affirms the criminal approach of the Israeli occupation entity, which is clearly embodied today in its continued crimes against the Palestinian people and the massacres it commits against innocent civilians, including women and children,” the source added.
On Thursday, Israeli airstrikes targeted both the Aleppo airport and the Damascus airport, putting them out of service. According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the Aleppo airport was struck again on Saturday, just a few hours after it resumed service.
The Saturday airstrikes mark at least the 27th time Israel has bombed Syria this year. Sources told SOHR that Israel’s purpose of targeting Syria’s airports amid its Gaza onslaught was as a warning to prevent Iranian military flights into the country.
The sources added that “the two targeted airports had not witnessed any arrival of the military shipments of the Iranian militias and that the Israeli targets came only to put the two airports out of service.”
Israel frames its bombing campaign as airstrikes against Iran and Hezbollah’s presence in the country, but the attacks frequently kill Syrians and damage civilian infrastructure.
“We, at [SOHR], condemn the Israeli attacks on public and private institutions which belong only to Syrian people, and stress that the military presence [of] Iranian forces and their proxy militias in Syrian must never be used as an excuse to violate Syria’s sovereignty,” SOHR said in a statement.
Over the past year, Syria’s airports have become a common target of Israeli airstrikes. According to SOHR, since August 2022, Israel has bombed the Aleppo and Damascus airports 10 times.