Aleppo runway repaired just days after alleged Israeli strike

Syria accused Israel of carrying out airstrikes against Aleppo International Airport followed by another at Damascus International Airport on Wednesday night.

 Smoke rises from shelling on the road to Aleppo international airport. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah)
Smoke rises from shelling on the road to Aleppo international airport.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah)

The runway at Aleppo’s International Airport has been repaired and likely returned to service, just days after it was targeted in an alleged Israeli airstrike, according to an assessment by Israeli intelligence firm ImageSat International (ISI).

Syria accused Israel of carrying out airstrikes on the airport, followed by another at Damascus International Airport, on Wednesday night.

The VOR (radio navigation system) south of the runway was also damaged in the strike. The system is used to help aircraft stay on course as they come in for landing.

According to ISI, the attack on the airports was aimed at preventing an Iranian Antonov AN-74 cargo plane from landing. The plane was flown by Yas Air, a company sanctioned by the US Treasury Department for transporting weapons for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The airport’s runway, VOR and nearby warehouses were struck by at least four missiles.

 A satellite image of the Aleppo Airport runway. (credit: IMAGESAT INTERNATIONAL) A satellite image of the Aleppo Airport runway. (credit: IMAGESAT INTERNATIONAL)

On Thursday, Syria’s Civil Aviation Authority said in a notice to pilots that the airport was closed for maintenance work, without mentioning the strike.

Israel accused of multiple airstrikes in Syria

Israel has been accused of striking Syrian airports numerous times as part of its “war between the wars” campaign aimed at preventing Iranian entrenchment in the country, as well as stopping Hezbollah from obtaining weaponry from the Islamic Republic.

Jerusalem claims that Iranian flights, both civilian and military, carry weapons systems for Hezbollah.

Alleged Israeli strikes in June temporarily shut down Damascus Airport after both the military and civilian runways were destroyed.

Israel has ramped up its campaign, and between May to July it carried out a double-digit amount of strikes throughout the Middle East as part of its campaign.

Not only have the strikes in Syria destroyed an immeasurable amount of advanced and strategic weaponry, but Iran’s air, land and sea corridors also didn’t function for 70% of 2021 due to operations.

The Israel Air Force has also struck a military site at Masyaf in northwestern Syria numerous times, the latest being on August 25. According to ISI, the strike targeted numerous buildings, completely destroying some of them.

There have been repeated airstrikes in the Masyaf area, which is thought to be used by Iran as a base for its militia forces. The area is also where Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), known also by its French name Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Scientifiques (CERS), is located.

“This was another attack on the same area that had been attacked before, in order to stop the production of missiles and destroy missile depots,” ISI said.