Israeli rockets intercepted by Syrian defense system over Aleppo

Footage of U.S. strikes in Syria (Photo: AFP)

Syria's air defenses intercepted an Israeli attack on the Al-Safirah neighborhood in southern Aleppo on Monday, according to Syrian state media, a place where Israel has frequently targeted an expanding Iranian presence.

After air defenses destroyed most of the missiles that targeted a variety of undisclosed locations, a Syrian military spokesman told state media that the damage was being analyzed.

"At around 23:37 on Monday... the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial attack towards southeast Aleppo, targeting positions in the Al-Safira area," a military source told Syria's state news agency SANA.

"Our air defenses intercepted the missiles... shooting down most of them," the statement continued, adding that the amount of the damage was still being determined.

The airstrikes, according to Syrian opposition troops, targeted Iranian Revolutionary Guard bases and a weapons complex, continuing Israeli attacks on Iranian military research and development activity throughout the previous year.

The Syrian government has never confirmed that the strikes are targeting Iranian assets, claiming that only a few advisors are involved.

According to Syrian military sources, Iran maintains a substantial presence in the province in northern Syria, with elite Revolutionary Guard officers stationed at the military airbase of Kuweires, 30 kilometers east of the city.

The Israeli army, according to a spokeswoman, does not comment on international reports. Earlier missile strikes, according to Israeli sources, hindered Iran's entrenchment in Syria.

Aleppo, Syria's most populated city and an economic and industrial powerhouse before the conflict, was rocked by explosions.

Authorities said they were working to fix the city's main energy wire after a direct impact knocked out power.

The airstrikes are the first since Naftali Bennett's new Israeli government took office last month.

Bennett has pledged to continue his predecessor's policy of containing Iran's military growth in Syria, which Israel's defense establishment believes has thrown the region's strategic balance off.

Israeli assaults on Syria, according to Western intelligence sources, are part of a shadow war sanctioned by the US and part of a strategy to weaken Iran's military capabilities without escalating hostilities.

In reaction to rocket attacks on US targets in Iraq, Washington recently carried out operations in eastern Syria against sites belonging to Iranian-backed militias.

The Pentagon expressed grave worry earlier this month over a string of retaliatory attacks on US servicemen stationed in the country's northeast who were targeted by Iranian-backed militias operating near the Iraqi border.

After assisting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in regaining territory lost to insurgents, tens of thousands of Iranian-backed militias have increased their presence across Syria in the previous year.

Publish : 2021-07-20 13:40:00

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