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Israel strikes Damascus after bombing Aleppo airport

It is the first time the Israeli army has attacked the economic capital's airport
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PHOTO/AFP  -   A Cham Wings Airlines Airbus A320-211 is photographed at Syria's Aleppo airport after flights were diverted from Damascus airport

Israel has attacked Syria. Missile strikes have been reported over the past few hours targeting the suburbs of Damascus, hours after the Israeli army attacked Aleppo International Airport in northwestern Syria and caused damage inside, the SANA news agency announced.

In reporting the attack, SANA used the term 'enemy' when referring to Israel. They also noted that after receiving the attacks, Syria used its anti-aircraft defences against the shells, managing to shoot down some of them.

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AFP PHOTO / ImageSat International (ISI) - This satellite image obtained by ImageSat International (ISI) shows damage repairs to the military and civilian runways (from left to right) at Damascus International Airport

At around 8 p.m., Israeli fighter jets reportedly hit Aleppo airport, where an Iranian plane was supposed to land. Four shells then hit one of the airfield's runways and nearby warehouses allegedly containing "a cargo of Iranian missiles and rockets", according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

During June, further attacks on Syria from Israel forced the suspension of all flights from Damascus Airport as the attacks affected its own infrastructure.

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AFP/RONALDO SCHEMIDT - A section of the border fence between the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights and Syria on 30 August 2022

For this reason, the al-Assad government has called on the UN Security Council to issue a "public condemnation" of the Israeli offensives as they undermine "regional peace and security".

While these attacks are not the first to be carried out by Israel, they are the first to directly target important infrastructure such as Aleppo airport. In cities such as Hama, which has been badly affected by the war, there have been multiple attacks from the Israeli side aimed at pro-Iranian militias. In this context, at least twenty attacks have been recorded this year.

 Iran and Syria, strong diplomatic relations 

The fact that there are pro-Iranian positions and militias in Syria means that Israel sees its neighbour as a danger, as it is an ally of Iran. In fact, just a few months ago, Iran and Israel strengthened their ties during a visit in which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad travelled to Tehran to meet his counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi, and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. 

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AFP PHOTO / HO / PRESIDENCIA IRANÍ - Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (R) receiving Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the capital Tehran

During the meeting, Khamenei reaffirmed his support for his regional ally, noting that "this relationship is vital for both countries and we must not let it weaken. We must strengthen it as much as possible".

Furthermore, the religious leader assured that "the Syria of today is not the Syria of before the war, then there was no destruction, but the respect and prestige of Syria today is much greater than in the past, and everyone sees that country as a power".

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Oficina del Líder Supremo iraní vía AP - Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, left, meets with Syrian President Bashar Assad, centre, while accompanied by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, in Tehran

In the context of the Syrian civil war, Iran was one of the main allies of the Al-Assad regime, as was Russia. The Iranian leader recalled that "Iran stood by the Syrian people and the Syrian government when some Arab and non-Arab leaders in the region were betting on the date of the fall of the Syrian government"

He concluded by saying that the future of the region depends on not making deals with the US, which he accuses of destroying it. In his meeting he ruled that "what determines the future of the region and of Palestine is not negotiating tables and treaties like Oslo or Camp David, it is the resilience of nations that determines the new regional order".