Syria reopens Aleppo airport after 8-year closure

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Damascus – A plane operated by ’s national carrier on Wednesday landed in Aleppo’s airport, marking reopening of the facility after an eight-year closure, the state Syrian news agency SANA reported.

Syrian government forces, supported by allied Russian forces, announced their capture of countryside around Aleppo from rebels earlier this week, in the north of the war-torn country

“On Wednesday, a Syrian Air flight arrived in Aleppo International Airport coming from capital Damascus,’’ SANA said without details.

Transport Minister Ali Hammoud told accompanying newsmen aboard plane that the airport’s reopening was a “big victory.”

According to Syrian Transport Ministry, flights to Cairo and Damascus are planned in the coming days.

In 2017, ministry announced the resumption of operations at Aleppo’s airport, however those were called after the facility was shelled by rebels fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

According to estimates, Aleppo airport, ’s second-largest after Damascus International Airport, has a capacity of 1.7 million passengers annually.

A Syrian government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Syrian, Iranian and Russian carriers would be the primary users of Aleppo’s airport for now.