BEIRUT: Israeli air strikes have killed at least three people and damaged Aleppo airport in northern Syria for the second time in a week, a war monitor said Wednesday.
An Israeli air attack on Syria’s Aleppo airport on Tuesday has damaged the runway and taken the airport out of service, the Syrian defence ministry said.
The Israel missile attack was launched from the Mediterranean Sea, west of the coastal city of Latakia, at 8:16pm local time (1716 GMT), the ministry said in a statement.
Syrian air defences intercepted Israeli missiles, downing several of them, the Syrian state news agency (SANA) reported earlier on Tuesday.
It was the second reported attack in less than week. On Aug. 31, Israel fired rockets at the airport, which resulted in material damage, according to Syrian state media.
Israel has intensified strikes on Syrian airports to disrupt Tehran’s increasing use of aerial supply lines to deliver arms to allies in Syria and Lebanon including Hezbollah, regional diplomatic and intelligence sources told Reuters.
Tehran has adopted air transport as a more reliable means of ferrying military equipment to its forces and allied fighters in Syria, following disruptions to ground transfers.
Last week’s attack damaged Aleppo airport just before the arrival of a plane from Iran, a commander in an Iran-backed regional alliance who was familiar with the incident told Reuters.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group that monitors the conflict, said among the targets of the strikes was a warehouse in the airport compound used by Iran-affiliated militia.
“Three people were killed and five were wounded,” the group said, adding that a total of six missiles were fired.
The identities and nationalities of those killed could not be immediately confirmed.
Israel rarely comments on the strikes it carries out against Iranian and allied targets in Syria.
Syria’s private Cham Wings airline announced shortly after Tuesday’s strikes that its flights to and from Aleppo would be re-routed to the capital Damascus, around 300 kilometres (180 miles) to the south.