Middle East

Aleppo airport reopens after a year: Syria state media

A Free Syrian Army fighter lying on the ground, tries to pull the body of a killed fellow fighter at Base 80 near Aleppo International airport, November 8, 2013. REUTERS/Molhem Barakat

DAMASCUS: Syria's Aleppo international airport, closed for a year because of fighting, reopened Wednesday with the landing of a civilian aircraft, state media reported.

"A first airplane landed at Aleppo's international airport, after the Syrian army secured the outskirts," state news agency SANA reported.

State television reported live from the airport, its reporter standing in front of the Syrian Air plane.

The airport has been closed since January 2013, when advances by rebel forces in the northern province of Aleppo made it too dangerous to use.

In November, the army recaptured Base 80, responsible for security at the airport, and made progress in the surrounding area.

"Repairs were made at the airport, which had been attacked by terrorists," SANA said.

The Syrian government describes all those seeking to oust President Bashar Assad as "terrorists".

Aleppo city, the country's former economic capital, has been devastated by fighting between the government and rebel forces that began in mid-2012.

Control of the city is now divided between the regime and rebels, and the opposition also holds much of Aleppo province.





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