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Israeli strike hits Syrian airport: monitor

An Israeli airstrike targeted the airport of Syria’s government-held city of Aleppo, a war monitor said, days after a similar strike hit Aleppo and Damascus airports. “An Israeli air strike coming from the direction of the sea struck Aleppo airport,” Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP. Syrian state media also confirmed the strike, with state TV reporting an “Israeli aggression targeting Aleppo International Airport”. On Thursday, Israeli strikes knocked Syria’s two main airports of Damascus and Aleppo out of service, in the first such attack since a weekend Hamas assault on Israel 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. 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. Iran, which backs Hamas, on Saturday celebrated Hamas’s assault on Israel, though it insisted it had had no involvement in it. The strikes 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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