Syrian air defences ‘intercept’ Israeli attack over Aleppo

Israeli air attacks reportedly targeted Iranian Revolutionary Guard bases and a weapons plant in al-Safirah area of Aleppo.

The air attacks are the first since a new Israeli government led by Naftali Bennett came to power last month [File: Hamad Almakt/Reuters]
The air attacks are the first since a new Israeli government led by Naftali Bennett came to power last month [File: Hamad Almakt/Reuters]

Syria’s air defences have intercepted an Israeli attack on al-Safirah area of southern Aleppo, Syrian state media reported, a location where Israel has repeatedly hit a growing Iranian presence.

“At around 23:37 on Monday [20:37 GMT]  … the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial attack towards southeast Aleppo, targeting positions in the al-Safirah area,” Syrian state news agency SANA cited a military source as saying

“Our air defences intercepted the missiles … shooting down most of them,” it added, saying the extent of damage was still being assessed.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the missiles landed near the Scientific Studies Research Centre in al-Safirah, destroying bases and a weapons depot used by pro-Iran groups.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, it said.

A Syrian military spokesman told state media late on Monday that the damage was being assessed after air defences shot down most of the missiles that were aimed at a number of unspecified locations.

 

Syrian opposition forces said the air attacks were aimed at Iranian Revolutionary Guard bases and a weapons plant, in a continuation of Israeli attacks against Iranian military research and development activities over the past year.

The Syrian government has never acknowledged the raids are aimed at Iranian assets, which it has said are limited to some advisers.

However, Syrian military sources say Iran has a strong presence in the province in northern Syria, including elite Revolutionary Guard officers at the Kuweires military air base 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) east of the city.

An Israeli army spokesperson said the Israeli military does not comment on foreign reports.

Last month, Israeli air attacks in central Syria killed at least 11 government troops and militia members.

Israeli officials have said earlier missile strikes slowed Iran’s entrenchment in Syria.

Explosions were heard across Aleppo, which was Syria’s most populated urban centre and a commercial and industrial powerhouse before the war.

Authorities said work was under way to repair the main electricity cable to the city after a direct hit cut power supplies.

 

Syria’s air defences have intercepted an Israeli attack on al-Safirah area of southern Aleppo, Syrian state media reported, a location where Israel has repeatedly hit a growing Iranian presence.

“At around 23:37 on Monday [20:37 GMT]  … the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial attack towards southeast Aleppo, targeting positions in the al-Safirah area,” Syrian state news agency SANA cited a military source as saying

“Our air defences intercepted the missiles … shooting down most of them,” it added, saying the extent of damage was still being assessed.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the missiles landed near the Scientific Studies Research Centre in al-Safirah, destroying bases and a weapons depot used by pro-Iran groups.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, it said.

A Syrian military spokesman told state media late on Monday that the damage was being assessed after air defences shot down most of the missiles that were aimed at a number of unspecified locations.

 

Syrian opposition forces said the air attacks were going after Iranian Revolutionary Guard bases and a weapons plant, in a continuation of Israeli attacks against Iranian military research and development activities over the past year.

The Syrian government has never acknowledged the raids are aimed at Iranian assets, which it has said are limited to some advisers.

However, Syrian military sources say Iran has a strong presence in the province in northern Syria, including elite Revolutionary Guard officers at the Kuweires military air base 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) east of the city.

An Israeli army spokesperson said the Israeli military does not comment on foreign reports.

Last month, Israeli air attacks in central Syria killed at least 11 government troops and militia members.

Israeli officials have said earlier missile strikes slowed Iran’s entrenchment in Syria.

Explosions were heard across Aleppo, which was Syria’s most populated urban centre and a commercial and industrial powerhouse before the war.

Authorities said work was under way to repair the main electricity cable to the city after a direct hit cut power.

 

Shadow war

The air attacks are the first since a new Israeli government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett took office last month.

Bennett has pledged to maintain his predecessor’s policy of containment of Iran’s military expansion in Syria, a development Israel’s defence establishment says has upset the region’s strategic balance.

Western intelligence sources say Israeli raids on Syria are part of a shadow war approved by the United States and part of a policy to undermine Iran’s military power without triggering a huge increase in hostilities.

Washington recently carried out attacks against facilities belonging to Iranian-backed militias in eastern Syria in response to rocket attacks against US targets in Iraq.

The Pentagon earlier this month said it was deeply concerned about a series of retaliatory attacks on US personnel based in the northeast of the country who came under fire from Iranian backed militias operating in the area that borders Iraq.

Thousands of Iranian-backed militias have had a growing presence across Syria in the last year after helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regain territory once lost to the the ISIL (ISIS) group.

Iran has been credited for pushing back the ISIL armed group.

The air attacks are the first since a new Israeli government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett took office last month.

Bennett has pledged to maintain his predecessor’s policy of containment of Iran’s military expansion in Syria, a development Israel’s defence establishment says has upset the region’s strategic balance.

Western intelligence sources say Israeli raids on Syria are part of a shadow war approved by the United States and part of a policy to undermine Iran’s military power without triggering a huge increase in hostilities.

Washington recently carried out attacks against facilities belonging to Iranian-backed militias in eastern Syria in response to rocket attacks against US targets in Iraq.

The Pentagon earlier this month said it was deeply concerned about a series of retaliatory attacks on US personnel based in the northeast of the country who came under fire from Iranian backed militias operating in the area that borders Iraq.

Thousands of Iranian-backed militias have had a growing presence across Syria in the last year after helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regain territory once lost to the the ISIL (ISIS) group.

Iran has been credited for pushing back the ISIL armed group.

 

Source: AFP, Reuters

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