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Five injured in Israeli strikes on Syria airport: monitor

Israeli strikes targeted the airport of Syria’s government-held city of Aleppo injuring five people on Saturday, a war monitor said, days after a similar strike hit Aleppo and Damascus airports. The air strikes came “from the direction of the sea”, Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP, without specifying whether the five injured were civilians. Syria’s defence ministry also confirmed the strikes after midnight on Sunday. “At approximately 11:35 pm… the Israeli enemy carried out an air strike from the direction of the Mediterranean Sea… targeting Aleppo International Airport, causing material damage to the airport and putting it out of service,” the ministry said in a statement. The ministry lambasted Israel, saying that the attack “confirms the criminal approach of the Israeli occupation”, accusing it of “crimes against the Palestinian people”. On Thursday, Israeli strikes knocked Syria’s two main airports of Damascus and Aleppo out of service, in the first such attack since the Hamas assault on Israel a week ago triggered fierce fighting. Saturday’s strikes hit the airport “hours after it went back into service, knocking it out of service again,” said the British-based monitor, which has a wide network of sources inside Syria. Earlier on Saturday, Israel shelled Syria after air raid sirens sounded in settlements on the annexed Golan Heights, the army said. The Observatory said Israel retaliated after Palestinian factions working with Hezbollah launched a rocket from southern Syria towards the occupied Golan Heights. Israeli strikes have repeatedly caused the grounding of flights at the airports in the capital Damascus and northern city Aleppo, both of which are controlled by the government of war-torn Syria. During more than a decade of war in Syria, Israel has launched hundreds of air strikes on its northern neighbour, primarily targeting Iran-backed forces and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters as well as Syrian army positions. Israel rarely comments on individual strikes it carries out on Syria, but it has repeatedly said it would not allow its arch-foe Iran, which supports Assad’s government, to expand its footprint there. The strikes on Aleppo were the second such attack on Syrian airports after Hamas’s surprise October 7 attack from Gaza ignited a war that has killed more than 1,300 people in Israel. In Gaza, health officials said more than 2,200 people had been killed. As on the Israeli side, most of them were civilians.

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