Israeli Airstrikes Target Aleppo Airport, Syrian State Media Reports
Damascus has accused Tel Aviv of ramping up its campaign of aerial aggression in recent weeks. The Israeli military typically maintains silence when it comes to responsibility for individual strikes, but has previously admitted to carrying out "hundreds" of attacks against its neighbor over the years.
Syrian air defense forces have shot down a number of incoming Israeli missiles targeting the Aleppo International Airport on Tuesday evening, the Syrian Arab News Agency has reported.
Syria's ministry of defense later indicated that the attack on Aleppo's airport damaged its airstrip, knocking it out of service.
A military source told SANA that the strike was launched from the Mediterranean Sea west of Latakia.
The attack was the second time in a week that Israel has targeted Aleppo's airport, and comes less than two days after Lebanese media reporting on Israeli jets being spotted conducting illegal flights over Beirut.
Israeli jets rarely enter Syrian airspace during strike missions in a bid to avoid the country's dense network of air defenses, and typically launch attacks from international airspace and/or from Lebanon, knowing that Syrian air defense troops will be hesitant to fire amid fears of hitting civilian aircraft or infrastructure.
The Israeli military has not commented on Tuesday's strikes, which are the latest amid a string of Israeli attacks against Syria in recent weeks. Last Wednesday, the Russian military reported that Syrian air defenses shot down three of eight Israeli missiles fired at airfields in Aleppo and Damascus by Israeli Air Force F-16 fighter jets. Five Syrian troops were wounded, and an antenna post of a Syrian S-125 air defense system as well as two warehouses containing military equipment was destroyed in that attack. The Aleppo airport's airfield was damaged.
Last month, two civilians were injured in an Israeli strike in Syria's Hama, while a separate attack targeted a science center in Homs. In mid-August, the Syrian military reported that three servicemen had been killed and three others were injured following an Israeli air attack on the outskirts of Damascus and Tartus.
Russia, Syria's regional partner in the war against terrorism, has strongly condemned Tel Aviv over its campaign of aerial aggression. Last week, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzia blasted Israel and stressed that only the full restoration of Syria's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity and the cessation of illegal foreign military presence in the country would lead to long-term security and stability in the war-torn nation.
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