DAMASCUS, Oct 12 (Reuters) – Israeli forces launched simultaneous missile strikes on airports in the Syrian capital Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo on Thursday, damaging runways and putting both hubs out of service, Syria said.
A Syrian military source quoted by state news agency SANA said “missile explosions” hit both airports simultaneously in an attempt to divert world attention from Israel’s war with Hamas militants in Gaza.
The Israeli army said it did not comment on such reports.
Israel has for years carried out strikes against what it describes as Iranian-linked targets in Syria, including airports in Aleppo and Damascus.
The sources said the strikes on the airports were aimed at disrupting Iranian supply routes to Syria, where Tehran’s influence has grown since it began supporting President Bashar al-Assad in the civil war that began in 2011.
Thursday’s attacks came a day before Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amiraptolahian was to visit Syria.
Israel vowed to destroy Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, in retaliation for the worst attack on civilians in its history when hundreds of gunmen crossed the blockade and attacked Israeli cities.
Tehran celebrated the Hamas attacks but denied being behind them.
On Tuesday, Israeli troops fired artillery and mortar fire into Syria after rockets from southern Syria hit Israeli positions across the border.
Report by Firaz Magdesi; Written by Maya Kebili; Editing by Alex Richardson and Andrew Heavens
Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.