Israel Strikes Both Aleppo & Damascus International Airports On Same Day
On Wednesday night Israel conducted an unprecedented near simultaneous attack on both of Syria’s international airports. Airstrikes on both Aleppo International Airport in northwestern Syria, and Damascus International Airport just outside of the capital, came just hours apart.
While Damascus airport has been hit on multiple occasions over the past years of war in Syria, at times bringing commercial aviation to a halt at the airport, this is the first known time both civilian hubs were hit on the same day.
“At around 20:00 hours (17:00 GMT), the Israeli enemy targeted Aleppo International Airport with missile fire, causing material damage at the heart of the facility,” Syrian state news agency SANA reported.
International reports further cited an opposition war monitor, SOHR, which said four Israeli missiles struck the runway and warehouses at the Aleppo airport. Syrian anti-air defenses outside of Latakia were reportedly activated, but it’s unknown whether they intercepted additional inbound missiles.
Regional English-language media outlet Iran International has said the Israelis were seeking to thwart the arrival of a US sanctioned Iranian plane. The aircraft was first seen descending into Aleppo, but was forced to change course last minute due to the Israeli strikes on the airport runway:
Shortly after the strike in Aleppo, Israeli airstrikes targeted sites near Damascus International Airport and other targets south of Damascus, with Syrian air defenses downing “a number of missiles.”
Sabereen News, a channel close to Iran-backed forces in Syria reported that Israel targeted Aleppo airport to prevent a US sanctioned Iranian plane – belonging to the Yas Air cargo airline — from landing as it appeared to be descending, adding that the plane changed course to Damascus so the Israeli aircraft returned and bombed Damascus airport.
“Israel targeted Aleppo airport to prevent an Iranian plane from landing. The plane changed course to Damascus. The Israeli aircraft returned and bombed Damascus airport,” Sabereen News, a channel close to Iran-backed forces in Syria, reported tonight shortly after Aleppo blasts. pic.twitter.com/FoGdUJ0SO5
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) August 31, 2022
The Iranian aircraft in question is said to belong to an airline operated by the IRGC, allegedly used to transport “illicit cargo” including weaponry to pro-Iran militias in the region. Israel has long vowed to take action against Iranian arms shipments to the region, including against Hezbollah arms.
Israel has over the last half-decade of war struck locations in Syria literally hundreds of times, despite Moscow increasingly denouncing such attacks. Syria’s Russia-provided S-300 and other anti-air systems are frequently active, and intercept Israeli missiles with mixed success.
Thu, 09/01/2022 – 17:40