In the tumultuous backdrop of the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Hamas movement, an intense scene unfolds in Khan Yunis, a city located in the southern Gaza Strip, on October 14, 2023.
A Palestinian resident raises their voice in response to an Israeli airstrike, marking the eighth consecutive day of relentless fighting between the two sides. Tragically, the toll of this prolonged conflict has reached a devastating scale, with thousands of lives lost on both the Israeli and Palestinian fronts since October 7, 2023.
The strife began when Palestinian Hamas militants, operating from the Gaza Strip, executed a sudden and audacious incursion into southern Israel, prompting Israel to declare war on Hamas in Gaza on October 8. This grave escalation of hostilities has resulted in an unfathomable loss of life and untold suffering for the affected communities.
In a separate theater of conflict, Syria, a nation already burdened by a decade of strife, found itself targeted once again. Israeli airstrikes struck Aleppo International Airport, a key facility in a government-held city, as reported by Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. These airstrikes followed previous attacks on both Aleppo and Damascus airports. The Syrian state media also confirmed the Israeli aggression, highlighting the precarious situation in the region.
The strikes on Syria’s airports were a direct consequence of a recent series of events triggered by a weekend Hamas assault on Israel. In this latest incident, the Israeli strikes struck Aleppo International Airport just hours after it had partially resumed operations, once again rendering it inoperative. Israel’s repeated actions have significantly disrupted the functioning of airports in Damascus and Aleppo, both under the control of Syria’s embattled government.
Israel’s military involvement in Syria has been a recurring theme over the past decade, marked by numerous airstrikes targeting Iran-backed forces, Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, and Syrian military positions. Israel’s stance remains consistent: it will not permit Iran, a formidable adversary, to extend its influence into Syrian territory, even as Iran lends its support to Hamas.
The airstrikes on Syrian airports are the second instance of such attacks, coming in the wake of the surprise Hamas assault on October 7, which has claimed the lives of over 1,300 individuals in Israel. In Gaza, the heart-wrenching toll on human life has surpassed 2,200 casualties, with a significant number being innocent civilians. The toll on human life and the lasting impact of these events continue to reverberate through the affected regions, emphasizing the urgency for a resolution to this protracted and devastating conflict.