DAMASCUS (Reuters) – Syria said that Israeli forces launched simultaneous missile attacks on the airports of the capital, Damascus, and the northern city of Aleppo on Thursday, damaging the two runways and putting them out of service.
The official Syrian news agency (SANA) quoted a Syrian military source as saying that “missile volleys” hit the two airports at the same time, in what he described as an attempt to divert the world’s attention from the war that Israel is waging with Hamas fighters in Gaza.
The Israeli army said it does not comment on such reports.
For years, Israel has been carrying out strikes against what it described as targets linked to Iran in Syria, including the Aleppo and Damascus airports.
Sources said that the strikes on the airports aimed to disrupt Iranian supply lines to Syria, where Tehran’s influence has increased since it began supporting President Bashar al-Assad in the civil war that began in 2011.
Thursday’s strikes came a day before Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian visited Syria.
Israel has vowed to eliminate the Hamas movement that rules the Gaza Strip, in response to the deadliest attack on civilians in its history when hundreds of gunmen crossed the fence and stormed Israeli towns on Saturday.
Tehran celebrated the Hamas attacks but denied being behind them.
On Tuesday, Israeli forces fired artillery shells and mortar shells towards Syria after rockets from southern Syria fell on Israeli positions across the border.
(Press reporting by Firas Makdisi – Prepared by Muhammad for the Arab Bulletin) Written by Maya Gebeili; Editing by Alex Richardson and Andrew Heavens
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