Syria’s Aleppo Airport Restarts Flights as Fighting Continues Nearby
A passenger jet landed in the Syrian city of Aleppo Wednesday from Damascus. It was the first commercial flight between Syria's two largest cities since 2012. Yet near Aleppo, government forces reportedly carried out airstrikes on rebel-controlled towns and villages.
The airplane carried Syrian officials and reporters. It arrived after forces loyal to President Bashar Assad strengthened control over the northwestern province of Aleppo. They also seized the last parts of a major road linking Aleppo with Damascus. The road is set to reopen soon for the first time in eight years.
For weeks, government forces have been fighting to recapture the Aleppo countryside and parts of neighboring Idlib province in northwestern Syria. They are the last rebel-held areas in Syria. Russian forces are carrying out airstrikes in support of the government offensive.
The fighting has caused problems between Turkey and Russia, whose governments support opposing sides in the Syrian conflict.
Earlier Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave what he called a "final warning" for Assad's forces to pull back from Idlib. If not, the Turkish military will intervene, he said.
Largest displacement of civilians
The Syrian offensive has forced hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee to the border with Turkey in what is the single largest human displacement of the nine-year war. The United Nations estimates that more than 900,000 civilians have been displaced since December of last year. Most are women and children. They are living in tents in fields and under trees in wintry conditions.
American satellite pictures show the size of the displacement. They show a large number of refugee tents and shelters near Kafaldin and Deir Hassan.
The military campaign has killed hundreds of people and caused problems for aid shipments. The cold makes the suffering worse.
The commercial Syrian Air jet landed in Aleppo after a 40-minute flight from Damascus. A military band greeted the plane as it arrived.
Syrian warplanes flew in the sky in a show of force and celebration. Syrian Tourism Minister Rami Radwan Martini and Transport Minister Ali Hammoud had earlier opened the airport for business.
Hammoud called the opening of the airport a "great joy" for Syrians and a "dream" for the ministry. It has been closed since 2012 after rebel fighters gained control of Aleppo.
Backed by Russia and Iran, the Syrian army pushed the rebels out of the city in December 2016. The airport opened for a short time in 2017, but closed again because of security concerns.
Airstrikes and shelling were reported Wednesday on several rebel-held positions. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported more than 120 airstrikes on Tuesday alone.
The Syrian government offensive has caused problems between Turkey and Russia, which support opposing sides in the war. However, the two sides have worked together in recent years in Idlib province. The two had a truce that collapsed in late 2019, leading to the Russian military support for the Syrian government offensive.
Turkey arms and trains the Syrian opposition. It has sent thousands of troops into Idlib to try to slow the progress of Syrian forces. That has led to clashes between Syrian and Turkish troops.
Erdogan warned Wednesday that time was running out for Syrian government forces to pull back from Idlib.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.running out 用完；耗尽
As you can imagine, running out of memory is a bad thing.
2.pull back 拉回；撤回
Even now, banks continue to pull back on lending.
3.in support of 支持
I am just doing what I can in support of them.
4.security concerns 安全原因
The US will not allow these sales because of national security concerns.
5.They show a large number of refugee tents and shelters near Kafaldin and Deir Hassan.
a large number of 大量的
Vivaldi composed a large number of very fine concertos.
The library contains a large number of foreign language reference books.
6.The airport opened for a short time in 2017, but closed again because of security concerns.
for a short time 短暂的
For a short time, she and Benny formed their own performing act.
They only stayed for a short time.
周三，一架客机从大马士革降落在叙利亚城市阿勒颇 。这是自2012年以来叙利亚两个最大城市之间的首次商业航班 。然而，据报道，政府军在阿勒颇附近对叛军控制的城镇和村庄发动了空袭 。
这架客机载着叙利亚官员和记者 。客机是在忠于总统巴沙尔·阿萨德的部队加强了对西北部省份阿勒颇的控制之后抵达的 。他们还占领了连接阿勒颇和大马士革的主要道路的最后部分 。这条公路即将重新开放，这是8年来的第一次 。
数周来，政府军一直在为夺回阿勒颇农村和叙利亚西北部邻近的伊德利卜省部分地区而战斗 。他们是叙利亚最后被叛军控制的地区 。俄罗斯军队正在进行空袭，以支持政府的进攻 。
周三早些时候，土耳其总统埃尔多安发出“最后警告”，要求阿萨德军队从伊德利卜省撤军 。否则，土耳其军方将进行干预，他说 。
叙利亚的冲突迫使数十万平民逃到与土耳其接壤的边境，这是9年战争以来最大的一次平民流亡 。联合国估计，自去年12月以来，已有90多万平民流离失所 。大多数是妇女和儿童 。他们在寒冬只能栖身于野外的帐篷里或树下 。
美国卫星图片显示了人口流亡的规模 。他们展示了卡法尔丁和代尔哈桑附近大量的难民帐篷和避难所 。
这次军事行动已经造成数百人死亡，并给运送救援物资造成困难 。寒冷的气候更是让痛苦雪上加霜 。
这架叙利亚商用飞机从大马士革起飞40分钟后降落在阿勒颇 。飞机到达时，军乐队在机场迎接 。
叙利亚战机在空中盘旋，以示武力外加庆祝 。早些时候，叙利亚旅游部长拉米·拉德万·马蒂尼和交通部长阿里·哈穆德曾宣布该机场开始恢复营业 。
哈穆德称，机场的恢复营业对叙利亚人来说是“巨大的喜悦”，对内政部来说则是“梦想” 。自2012年叛军控制阿勒颇以来，该地区一直处于关闭状态 。
2016年12月，在俄罗斯和伊朗的支持下，叙利亚军队将叛军赶出了这座城市 。该机场在2017年短暂开放，但出于安全考虑再次关闭 。
据报道，周三对反政府武装控制的几个据点进行了空袭和炮击 。总部设在英国的叙利亚人权观察站报告说，仅周二就发生了120多次空袭 。
叙利亚政府的攻势引发了土耳其和俄罗斯之间的问题，土耳其和俄罗斯在战争中支持对立的双方 。然而，双方近年来在伊德利卜省进行了合作 。双方的停火协议在2019年底破裂，导致俄罗斯军队支持叙利亚政府的进攻 。
土耳其为叙利亚反对派提供武器和训练 。该国已向伊德利卜派遣了数千名士兵，试图拖延叙利亚军队的进展 。这导致了叙利亚和土耳其军队之间的冲突 。