Israel attacks Aleppo international airport – Syrian media
Syrian air defenses intercepted “a number” of Israeli missiles on Wednesday evening but several broke through and damaged the international airport in Aleppo, the Syrian state news agency SANA has reported.
The outlet said it was citing claims from military sources. “At around eight o’clock this evening, the Israeli enemy targeted Aleppo International Airport with a missile strike, which caused material damage,” it quoted one as saying.
Explosions were also recorded in Damascus, with eyewitness reports speaking of damage to residential areas and possible victims. There was no official confirmation yet, however.
According to one report, at least three missiles struck the Aleppo airport runway, taking it out of service until further notice.
Much of Syria’s air traffic was redirected through Aleppo after a similar strike in June destroyed the runways at the Damascus International Airport. Israeli satellite photos showed significant damage to the airport. Syrian officials informed Russia that repairing the damaged runways may take “significant time.”
Israel has repeatedly targeted Syria with missiles, usually fired from Lebanese airspace or the occupied Golan Heights, wary of air defense systems provided by Russia to Damascus. On the rare occasions that Israel has acknowledged the attacks, its government said it was exercising preemptive self-defense against the Iranian presence in the neighboring country.
Tehran has offered military aid to Damascus in recent years against both Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists and other radical militants. Israel claims Iran is using civilian flights to Syria to smuggle weapons and missile parts to Hezbollah, a Shia militia in Lebanon.
Syria, Russia and Turkey have repeatedly protested Israeli strikes and called on West Jerusalem to stop violating Syrian sovereignty, apparently to no effect.