Israeli airstrikes damaged the runway of Aleppo International Airport earlier this month, impeding the delivery of humanitarian aid to earthquake victims
In the early hours of 22 March, the Israeli air force launched renewed missile strikes on the vicinity of Aleppo International Airport in northeast Syria, marking the second attack on the civilian airstrip since a 7.7 magnitude earthquake devastated the region.
“At about 03:55 a.m. on Wednesday, the Israeli enemy launched an aerial act of aggression with a number of missiles from the direction of the Mediterranean Sea, west of Lattakia, targeting the vicinity of Aleppo International Airport,” a military source said in a statement to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
The statement did not mention whether the strike caused any deaths or injuries but said the airport was put out of service due to the attack.
Aleppo airport has been one of the main channels for the flow of humanitarian aid into Syria after the earthquake killed over 6,000 and left hundreds of thousands homeless.
Earlier this month, humanitarian flights had to be redirected to Damascus and Latakia airports after Israeli airstrikes damaged the runway of Aleppo airport, hindering the delivery of life-saving aid.
“The impact of this closure impedes humanitarian access and could have drastic humanitarian consequences for millions of people who have been affected by the earthquake,” a UN statement issued on 8 March reads, highlighting that Aleppo is “one of the worst earthquake-impacted governorates in Syria.”
“Attacks must never be directed against civilians or civilian objects. The humanitarian community has been responding to one of the worst crises that hit Syria since 6 February against the background of 12 years of conflict, economic decline, and a desperate humanitarian situation,” the UN statement added.
On 18 February, at least five people died, and 15 were critically injured in Damascus after Israeli warplanes dropped bombs on a residential neighborhood.
In the days following the earthquake, Israeli officials warned that Tel Aviv would “not hesitate” to bomb Iranian aid deliveries for disaster-struck Syria under claims that Tehran seeks to “take advantage of the tragic situation … to send weapons and equipment to Hezbollah.”
Israel has been launching hundreds of attacks inside Syria for nearly a decade, allegedly targeting suspected Iranian and Hezbollah positions. Israeli warplanes at times bombed Syrian army positions to assist offensives of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front during the Western, Turkish, and Gulf-backed Salafist insurgency that began in 2011.