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Sabra Express | Grounded

Aleppo Airport Again Forced to Shut After Israeli Attack

Emanuel Fabian, Times of Israel, September 6th, 2022


Recap:

Syria accused Israel of striking Aleppo International Airport, taking it out of service for the second time in under a week.


The Context:

Israel and Syria remain in a state of war since Israel’s founding however the border was relatively calm until the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

Officially, Israel’s involvement in the war was limited to responding to violence spilling over its border but, unofficially, Israel has carried out hundreds of attacks on targets inside Syria to stem terrorist activities affiliated with Iran and its proxies [1].

Iran’s influence in the region has grown steadily since the war’s onset. Iran operates through Hezbollah, Shi'ite militias from Iraq and local Syrian militias. It regularly uses Syrian airports to smuggle weapons via cargo planes before trucking them to Lebanon.

Syria’s main airports function as both military and civilian hubs [2]. This week’s airstrikes targeted Aleppo’s runway and radio navigation system just before the arrival of a plane from Iran [3]. Another airstrike hit a navigation system at Damascus International Airport, near the Syrian capital, knocking it out of service.

The attack was seen as a message to Syria, warning the Assad government not to use its infrastructure to further entrench Iran in the region [4]. Syria’s Foreign Ministry called the strikes a “war crime” [5].


Conversation Points:

What does Israel’s strikes say about the state of the Syrian regime?

Will Israel’s attacks deter Syria from aiding Iran?

Why doesn’t US President Joe Biden condition a nuclear deal with Iran on it ceasing terrorist activities in the region?


Notes:

1. Why is Israel bombing Syrian airports?, Al Jazeera, September 8th, 2022

2. Israel's doctrine: Make Syrian airports pay for hosting Iran - analysis, SETH J. FRANTZMAN, Jerusalem Post, September 8th, 2022

4. Why is Israel bombing Syrian airports?, Al Jazeera, September 8th, 2022


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