middle east

Syria’s Aleppo airport reopens after Israeli strikes

Syria’s Aleppo airport reopened on Friday, with the first civilian flight landing in more than 72 hours, after repairs following an Israeli air strike earlier this week.

Damage to the main runway in Tuesday’s raid had put the airport — the country’s second-largest — out of service, but the transport ministry said Friday repairs had been completed.

The first incoming flight, from Kuwait, landed at 8:30 pm local time (1730 GMT), according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

Earlier, a transport ministry statement carried by state news agency SANA said air traffic would resume from midday.

The Israeli strike, which the Britain-based Observatory said targeted a warehouse used by Iran-backed militias, was the second to hit the airport in just a week.

Since civil war erupted in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes against its northern neighbour, targeting government troops as well as allied Iran-backed forces and Hezbollah fighters.

While Israel rarely comments on individual strikes, it has acknowledged carrying out hundreds. It says its air campaign is necessary to stop arch-foe Iran gaining a foothold on its doorstep.

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