Damascus airport targeted again in alleged Israeli airstrike on Syria

Syria’s SANA state news agency reported no casualties and only material damage. The report also claimed that air defenses downed most of the missiles that had been fired by Israel.

 Missile fire is seen over Damascus, Syria January 21, 2019.  (photo credit: SANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Missile fire is seen over Damascus, Syria January 21, 2019.
(photo credit: SANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Syria accused Israel of carrying out a missile strike against Damascus and the country’s southern region late on Friday, the first IDF attack on Syria in a month.

Explosions were heard in the capital’s vicinity, state media reported.

Syria’s SANA state news agency reported no casualties and only material damage. The report also claimed that air defenses downed most of the missiles that had been fired by Israel.

“The Israeli enemy carried out a missile aggression from the northeastern direction of Tiberias, targeting some posts in the vicinity of Damascus,” the news agency quoted a military source as saying.

Local reports said the target of the attack was the Damascus International Airport, which has been struck by Israel repeatedly as part of MABAM, its war-between-wars campaign against Iran’s attempt to entrench itself in the country and smuggle weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Ofek 1 images of Damascus International Airport (credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)Ofek 1 images of Damascus International Airport (credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)

The IAF has reportedly struck targets across Syria. Most recently airports, including Aleppo International Airport and Damascus International Airport have been reported by Syrian media to have been targeted by air strikes.

Israeli airstrikes in Syria

In September, both airports were repeatedly attacked in under two weeks by Israel after Iranian planes, believed to be carrying cargo destined for the Lebanese terror group, were reported by foreign media to have landed there.

Since a strike on September 17 that targeted Damascus International Airport killed five Syrian soldiers, there had been no reports of Israeli attacks.

While the Israeli military rarely comments on the strikes of the MABAM, security officials have stressed that it would continue as long as necessary.

Iran has used various ways to bring its platforms into Syria – by land, air, and sea. Israel, in turn, has also used various means to destroy those platforms.

Last year IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi said that the increase in operations – both overt and clandestine – had led to a slowdown of Iran’s entrenchment in Syria, “but we still have a long way to go to complete our goals in this arena.”

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.