ImageSat International (ISI) reported on Monday evening that heavy damage was inflicted upon Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) sites at Damascus International Airport on February 13. Airstrikes appear to have hit warehouses, a shelter, headquarters and infrastructure. The airstrikes were reported in regional media, such as Turkey’s Anadolu. Reports indicated that seven people were killed, including four Iranian officers. The Anadolu report claimed the attack occurred after a cargo plane had landed. Syrian regime media blamed Israel and said that Syrian defenses had intercepted “hostile targets.”
According to the ISI assessment, a series of satellite photos show damage to buildings around the airport. The damage included a headquarters and warehouse near a runway. In addition, another warehouse was completely destroyed and a shelter was partially damaged. In total, three different areas were struck. The last airstrikes before the February 13 alleged strike were in early February, when Russia accused Israel of endangering a civilian airliner. Iran has warned Israel that it will “regret” continued attacks and face a “crushing response.” Israel has warned Iran that it must not entrench in Syria, and that Syria could become Iran’s Vietnam. Last January, former IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot said Israel had carried out more than 1,000 airstrikes in Syria against Iranian targets.In November 2019, Iran’s “glass house” headquarters was struck in Syria, according to reports. In addition, Iran has sought to bring air defense to Syria in the form of the Third Khordad system. It has used Syria to base drones, including “killer drones” that Hezbollah and the IRGC tried to launch last August. In February 2018, an Iranian drone from Syria entered Israel’s airspace and was shot down. Iran has around 900 IRGC members in Syria and it has supported some 20,000 Shi’ite militias in the country. It has also sent precision-guided munitions via Syria to Hezbollah. Pro-Iranian militias have worked with Iran to build a base at Albukamal near the Iraqi border as part of Iran’s attempt to create a “road to the sea” via Syria to arm Hezbollah in Lebanon.Iran flies weapons and personnel into Syria, according to reports at Arabic media. The Islamic Republic is increasingly using rhetoric to threaten Israel after the US killed IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3.
Airstrikes destroy IRGC Quds Force HQ, warehouse at Damascus airport