Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Danij84~commonswiki
Aleppo International Airport on June 18, 2006

The skies over Syria were busy with missiles on Wednesday night, with an alleged Israeli Air Force attack aimed first at Aleppo International Airport and then just an hour later, aimed at Damascus International Airport.

The first attack took place at around 8 pm local time. It was followed about an hour later by another, this time aimed at the airport serving Syria’s capital, and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

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Such successive air strikes in one night, just an hour apart, are rare. Multiple reports speculated that Israel was trying to stop an Iranian cargo plane from landing first at Aleppo. When the aircraft redirected to Damascus, warplanes returned to prevent the Iranian plane from landing there as well.

Syrian media said four Israeli missiles were shot down by the country’s air defenses over the Damascus suburbs.

Syrian aerial defenses were activated over the Syrian capital, with reports of multiple interceptions, according to Syrian state media.

Earlier in the evening, the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported, “The Israeli enemy targeted Aleppo international Airport with a missile strike that caused material damages to the airport.” Air defenses were activated and no injuries were reported.

Aleppo International Airport was subsequently reported to be “out of service” until repairs can be carried out.

The Al-Nairab military airport is also located near Aleppo Airport, and there were reports of explosions in Iranian warehouses at the site, located east of the city of Aleppo.

Some reports said the air strikes targeted a runway at the military airport, and possibly a weapons depot linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

Last Thursday (Aug. 25), a reported Israeli air strike targeted an Iranian warehouse in the Syrian city of Masyaf, where more than 1,000 Iranian-made mid-range, surface-to-surface missiles were being stored. All were destroyed, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor (SOHR).

The airstrike on the weapons base, located in the Tartus-Hama area of northwest Syria, was a “significant strategic strike,” according to Col. (res) Olivier Rafowicz.

Syria Suspends Flights at Damaged Damascus Airport

Earlier this summer, Syria was forced to suspend all flights, departures and arrivals, at Damascus International Airport following an alleged intensive Israeli air strike. Three Iranian-linked arms depots were attacked in the strike.

In July, three Syrian soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded in an alleged Israeli attack on targets in the Damascus countryside, according to Syrian state media.

Israel Attacks Damascus Area, 6 Dead, 10 Injured

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, relying on eyewitnesses, reported at the time that six were killed, three of them non-Syrians, and ten were injured in Israel’s shelling on Rif Dimashq Governorate, which borders the governorates of Quneitra.

The SOHR reported that Israeli missiles hit offices of Air Force Intelligence, the office of a high-ranked officer, and a car in the vicinity of Al-Ma’za Military Airport. Missiles also landed near the military airport’s security checkpoint, the Al-Maza highway, and completely destroyed an Iranian warehouse in the vicinity of Al-Sayida Zainab, six miles south of Damascus.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.