BEIRUT (AP) — Five soldiers were killed in an Israeli strike on Damascus International Airport and nearby military posts south of the Syrian capital, state media reported Saturday.
State news agency SANA, citing an unnamed military official, said the attacks took place after midnight on Friday and caused “material losses”. Some Israeli missiles were shot down before reaching their targets, it said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said five Syrian soldiers and two members of Iran-backed groups were killed in the strikes.
Israel’s military declined comment, saying it does not respond to “foreign reports.”
The strike on Damascus International Airport came 10 days after Israel launched a missile attack on Aleppo airport in northern Syria that was halted for days. This is the second attack on Aleppo airport in a week.
On 10 June, Israeli airstrikes on Damascus International Airport caused significant damage to infrastructure and runways and rendered the main runway unusable. The airport reopened two weeks after renovation works.
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes against targets in government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations.
However, Israel has admitted targeting the bases of Iran-allied militant groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.
The Israeli attacks come amid a wider shadow war between the country and Iran. The attacks on airports in Damascus and Aleppo came amid fears that Iran was using weapons to smuggle them into the country.
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