Israeli airstrike wounds two soldiers near Damascus — Syrian state media
The Israeli Air Force allegedly carried out an airstrike near the Syrian capital Damascus early Thursday morning, according to a Syrian state media outlet.
The airstrike injured two soldiers and caused material damage, state news agency SANA reported.
Loud explosions were heard over Damascus at about 1:30 a.m., and Syrian air defenses were “facing hostile targets,” SANA said, citing an unidentified military official.
There was no comment from the Israeli Defense Forces, in line with their policy of not generally commenting on airstrikes in Syria. Israel is believed to have carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-held parts of Syria in recent years, including attacks on Damascus and Aleppo airports, but it rarely acknowledges or discusses the operations.
Israel has admitted, however, that it targets bases of groups linked to Iran, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces. Israel views Iran’s expansion across Syria as a constant threat to its national security, and has carried out strikes across a wide range of targets in an attempt to contain Iranian forces in the region.
The airstrike reported on Thursday followed two attacks in recent weeks on Aleppo International Airport, which were also blamed on Israel. The attacks temporarily closed the airport’s runway.
One of the strikes last week also targeted an underground ammunition depot at the nearby Nairab military airport, according to two unnamed “regional intelligence sources” who spoke to the Reuters news agency. The sources said the site was used to store missile guidance systems delivered by cargo flights from Iran.
Also this month, Israel carried out a rare daytime strike against targets in northwestern Syria, injuring three soldiers and causing damage, SANA said.
In January, the Syrian army said the Israeli military fired missiles toward Damascus international airport, temporarily putting it out of service and killing two soldiers. That attack came amid Israeli fears that the Damascus airport was being used to funnel weapons from Iran into the country.
AP contributed to this report.