Official media: Israeli strike on Syrian airport kills 5 soldiers


BEIRUT – An Israeli strike on Damascus International Airport and nearby military posts south of the Syrian capital has killed five soldiers, state media reported on Saturday.

State news agency SANA, citing an unnamed military official, said the strikes took place after midnight on Friday, also causing “material losses”. He added that some of the Israeli missiles were shot down before reaching their targets.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the strikes killed five Syrian soldiers and two members of Iran-backed groups.

The Israeli military declined to comment, saying it was not reacting to “foreign reports”.

The strike at Damascus International Airport has taken place 10 days after Israel launched a missile attack on Syria’s Aleppo airport in the north who took it out of service for a few days. It was the second attack on Aleppo airport in a week.

June 10, Israeli airstrikes on Damascus International Airport caused significant damage to infrastructure and runways and rendered the main runway unusable. The airport opened two weeks later after renovations.

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations.

Israel, however, has acknowledged that it was targeting bases of militant groups allied with Iran, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

The Israeli strikes come amid a wider shadow war between the country and Iran. The attacks on airports in Damascus and Aleppo are motivated by fears that they were used to bring Iranian weapons into the country.

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