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.
— Mete Sohtaoğlu (@metesohtaoglu) August 31, 2022
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.
“Israel targeted Aleppo airport to prevent an Iranian plane from landing. The plane changed course to Damascus. The Israeli aircraft returned and bombed Damascus airport,” Sabereen News, a channel close to Iran-backed forces in Syria, reported tonight shortly after Aleppo blasts. pic.twitter.com/FoGdUJ0SO5
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) August 31, 2022
Syrian media said four Israeli missiles were shot down by the country’s air defenses over the Damascus suburbs.
#BREAKING: #IsraeliAiForce just conducted one of its large airstrikes in 2022. A few minutes ago,F-15I & F-16I strike fighters of #Israel AF targeted #Aleppo & #Damascus Intl Airport to ensure they can not host any cargo aircraft carrying weapons & ammunition from #Iran to #Syria pic.twitter.com/4vQESR5aYE
— Babak Taghvaee – The Crisis Watch (@BabakTaghvaee1) August 31, 2022
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).
#BREAKING: The successful airstrike of #Israel Air Force at #Masyaf yesterday afternoon has destroyed a number of key facilities related to programs for ballistic missile production in #Syria by #IRGC. The material stored for manufacturing the missiles on fire after the attack? pic.twitter.com/nO9CwiBd43
— Babak Taghvaee – The Crisis Watch (@BabakTaghvaee1) August 26, 2022
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.
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.
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.