Syria Says Israeli Airstrikes Hit Airports in Damascus and Aleppo, Damaging Their Runways

Satellite image Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS
Satellite view of an explosion near the coast of Gaza amid Israeli airstrikes, October 10, 2023 in this handout image.

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian state media reported that Israeli airstrikes on Thursday hit the international airports of the Syrian capital Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo, damaging their runways and putting them out of service.

State news agency SANA quoted an unnamed military official as saying that no one was hurt in the attacks.

The Israeli military declined to comment.

They would be the first Israeli strikes on Syria since the militant Palestinian group Hamas carried out its deadly attacks in southern Israel.

The airstrikes came a day before Iran’s foreign minister was scheduled to visit Syria to meet officials over the volatile situation in the region.

Israel has targeted airports and sea ports in the government-held parts of Syria in an apparent attempt to prevent arms shipments from Iran to militant groups backed by Tehran, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Thousands of Iran-backed fighters from around the region joined Syria’s 12-year conflict helping tip the balance in favor of President Bashar Assad’s forces.

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years, including attacks on the Damascus and Aleppo airports, but rarely acknowledges or discusses the operations.