By Jean Shaoul
In the past weeks, the US and Israel have carried out a series of strikes on Iranian targets in Syria and elsewhere, setting the stage for a dangerous escalation of conflict in the Middle East.
On Tuesday, Israel launched its 24th reported strike on Syria this year, hitting Aleppo’s international airport, damaging the runway and putting the airport out of action. Warehouses belonging to Iran-linked militias and other compounds were also hit. Syrian state media said that air defences had intercepted Israeli missiles, downing several. This was the second attack within a week on civilian airports. On September 1, Israel struck Damascus airport, months after a previous attack, as well as Aleppo’s runway forcing an Iranian plane attempting to land to turn away.
State media also reported Israeli air strikes from the west, near the coastal city of Latakia, that according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights damaged an arms depot storing Iranian-made ground-to-ground missiles in Masyaf and whose production was overseen by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Masyaf has been the target of previous strikes, one of which injured 14 civilians. Other strikes on Damascus and Tartous killed three Syrian soldiers, according to reports.
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Israeli strikes cause carnage at Syria’s airports and raise fear of escalation
Sep. 15, 2022
The freshly tarmacked runway at Damascus International Airport had barely dried out from lengthy repairs after an Israeli missile attack in June before maintenance workers were mustered for a new mission in Aleppo, where another runway had been damaged.
For the third time in three months, a Syrian airport had been targeted and disabled by Israeli night raids, in an apparent escalation unlike any seen before.
Israel has conducted hundreds of air strikes in Syria since 2011, targeting government troops, Iran-backed fighters and Hezbollah. However, targeting airports and paralysing aviation has been a noticeably more recent element in their policy.
And now, there are often just days between repetitive strikes on the same targets.
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