Aleppo airport in northern Syria was closed on Wednesday after an Israeli raid targeted a nearby weapons depot belonging to pro-Iranian groups, a non-governmental organization said.
The Syrian Ministry of Defense reported that the attack on the airport of the country’s second largest city caused only material damage.
“At approximately 03:55 (21:55 Brasilia time), the Israeli enemy launched an air strike, with the help of several missiles, from the Mediterranean Sea, west of Latakia, on Aleppo International Airport.” The ministry said.
The Ministry of Transport announced that due to damage to the runway and some facilities, “the airport has ceased service until repairs are completed.” He added that all scheduled flights were transferred to Damascus and Latakia airports.
This airport was used to drop humanitarian aid to people affected by the strong earthquake that devastated northern Syria and several regions in Turkey on February 6.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based NGO, but with an extensive network of sources in Syria, the attack was directed against “the airport and a nearby weapons depot of pro-Iranian groups”.
The ministry added that this armory was “completely destroyed”.
Groups close to Iran and its allies have great influence in Aleppo, as they helped government forces regain full control of the city in December 2016 alongside the Russian army.
This is the second time this month that Aleppo airport has been attacked by Israel. On March 7, a bombing killed three and put the facility out of service, according to OSDH.
Since the February earthquake that killed nearly 6,000 people in Syria, more than 80 planes loaded with humanitarian aid have landed at this airport, according to the country’s transport ministry.
In recent years, Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria, against government sites and positions of its pro-Iranian allies and the Lebanese Hezbollah group.
While Israel rarely acknowledges these actions, it says it wants to prevent the establishment of pro-Iranian forces in the neighboring country.
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