UPDATE, JAN 2:
In their first strikes of 2023, Israeli warplanes briefly knocked Damascus International Airport out of service and killed at least two Assad regime troops early Monday.
The regime military said air-launched missiles hit the airport at 2 a.m. Targets were also hit in the south of Damascus, killing the two soldiers, wounding two, and causing material damage.
The regime’s Transport Ministry said workers had removed debris and flights would resume by 9 a.m.
Two “regional intelligence sources” said the strikes were a continuation of Israel’s attacks on Iranian positions, including an outpost of the Quds Force and Iran-backed militias.
Israel has recurrently struck the airport and the nearby area, seeking to degrade the Iranian forces and to hinder their transfer of missiles and weapons to Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
The airport was shut for almost two weeks last June after the Israelis damaged runways, infrastructure, and a terminal. In September, both the Damascus and Aleppo airports were struck, putting the latter out of operation for several days.
UPDATE, DEC 20:
Assad regime media say Israeli airstrikes near Damascus wounded two soldiers and caused material damage late Monday.
A regime military official put out the template statement that air defenses shot down several Israeli missiles.
In line with its long-standing policy, the Israel Defense Forces did not comment.
UPDATE, DEC 14:
The head of the Israel Defense Forces, Gen. Aviv Kohavi, has confirmed an airstrike inside Syria near the Iraq border, hitting a convoy allegedly carrying Iranian weapons, on November 9.
The IDF rarely comments on operations, but Kohavi told a university conference that “advanced abilities” had allowed Israeli pilots to carry out a precision strike on a truck within the 25-vehicle convoy, which was taking the weapons from Iraq to Lebanon.
We could have not been aware of the Syrian convoy a few weeks ago.
We could have not known that it was heading from Iraq to Syria, we could have not known what’s in it and we could have not known that out of the 25 trucks, truck Number 8, was the one carrying weapons.
We needed to send pilots to the right place and they had to evade surface-to-air missiles fired at them. They needed to attack, they needed to hit their targets and come back safely and not kill people who shouldn’t be killed. These are very advanced capabilities.
The strike reportedly killed 10 people, including Iranians.
Syrian media shares this video claiming to show the convoy of trucks carrying fuel from Iran to Lebanon, an hour before it was targeted over night on the Iraq-Syria border. Nahr Media says the trucks were accompanied by Lebanese Hezbollah forces. pic.twitter.com/glXLjWoJ0r
— Ariel Oseran (@ariel_oseran) November 9, 2022
UPDATE, NOV 23:
Iran has confirmed the killing of a senior Revolutionary Guards officer by an improvised explosive device near Syria’s capital Damascus.
The Revolutionary Guards said in a statement that Col. Davoud Ja’fari of the Aerospace Division died in the roadside explosion.
While Israel has regularly carried out airstrikes on Iranian and Assad regime positions, killings with IEDs are less frequent.
In August, Gen. Abolfazl Alijani of the Guards Ground Force was killed inside Syria. Iranian officials never revealed the circumstances around his death.
UPDATE, NOV 19:
In their most significant airstrikes in two months, Israel warplanes have killed at least six Assad regime troops and wounded four.
The regime military said the strikes were on central and coastal regions of Syria early Saturday from the Israeli warplanes flying over the Mediterranean. It gave no further information on the targets in the Latakia, Hama, and Homs regions.
On Sunday, a strike on the Shayrat airbase in Homs Province killed two soldiers and wounded three.
Following standard practice, the Israel Defense Forces made no comment on the operations.
However, a long-time observer of the Syrian conflict says officers are among those killed on Saturday. He added that three troops were killed and 17 wounded last Sunday.
Syria: this morning Israel killed a SAA high-ranking Officer as well as other officers & soldiers during airstrikes on the Coast & Homs province. Those identified so far:
– Lt Colonel from Latakia province
– Captain (Engineer) from Ghab (NW. Hama). pic.twitter.com/j86FE1HRO7
— QalaatM (@QalaatM) November 19, 2022
UPDATE, SEPT 17:
Israel’s latest airstrikes on Syrian airports, to disrupt Iranian transfers of missiles and weapons, have killed five Assad regime troops.
The regime’s Defense Ministry also acknowledged “material damage” in the attacks about 12:45 a.m. on Damascus International Airport and other positions south of the Syrian capital.
As always, the Ministry declared without evidence that air defenses had downed most of the missiles.
There was no immediate indicate if operations were affected at the Damascus airport, which was closed for more than a week in June after a runway was struck.
UPDATE, SEPT 2:
Israeli airstrikes have damaged Aleppo International Airport in northwest Syria.
Satellite images indicate that Wednesday night’s attack tore a hole in a runway, ignited a fire, and damaged a radio navigation system for aircraft. Vehicles on Thursday appeared to be carrying out repairs.
Reports said the Israelis also again hit Damascus International Airport. A notice by aviation authorities said the radio navigation system was out of service, with satellite images confirming damage.
Civilian planes were still landing at Damascus on Thursday.
Israel is targeting airports to disrupt Iran’s supply of missiles and weapons both to the Assad regime and to the Lebanese organization Hezbollah.
The satellite firm Aurora Intel said a sanctioned Iranian cargo plane landed at the Aleppo airport several hours before the Israeli strike. Later, just before the strike, a transponder on an Antonov An-74 cargo plane of Iran’s Yas Air briefly pinged, indicating its intention to land in Aleppo.
Yas Air has been sanctioned by the US since 2012 for its connections with the Revolutionary Guards.
In June, the Assad regime closed Damascus International Airport for more than a week after a runway was struck.
UPDATE, AUGUST 28:
Satellite images show significant damage from Thursday’s Israeli airstrike on the center for the Assad regime’s main conventional and chemical weapons development.
Nine buildings of the Scientific Studies and Research Center, known as CERS or SSRC, on the base were destroyed or “heavily damaged”, said Aurora Intel. A regime captain was killed.
Syria: helicopters & firefigting aircraft were brought to control the fires triggered by Israeli airstrikes on weapons/ammo warehouses near Masyaf. Whatever was inside the Scientific Research Facilities, it's unprecedented. pic.twitter.com/ey231hwr90
— QalaatM (@QalaatM) August 27, 2022
The attack came as Russia dismantled and moved the S-300 air defense system that it had positioned near the complex.
The site, near Masyaf in northwest Syria, is also reportedly a base for Iranian forces and Iran-supported militias.
Syria: dozens of secondary explosions East of Masyaf one hour after the aerial bombardment. Looks like Israel hit a *major* ammo storage despite regular strikes on this area. pic.twitter.com/nTnXli9E4J
— QalaatM (@QalaatM) August 25, 2022
UPDATE, AUGUST 27:
Amid Israel’s strikes inside Syria on Assad regime and Iranian positions, Russia has withdrawn an advanced S-300 air defense system.
Israeli satellite intelligence firm ImageSat published images of the dismantling of the system and movement of its parts. The S-300 had been positioned near the regime’s Scientific Studies Research Center — the main complex for development of conventional and chemical weapons — near Masyaf in northwest Syria.
The system’s radar was taken to Russia’s Khmeimim Air Base in western Syria, and the S-300 battery was taken to the port of Tartus where it was loaded onto a Russian ship bound for the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.
The system is likely to be reconstructed and positioned inside Ukraine, with Moscow’s invading force struggling in the east and facing a possible Ukrainian counter-offensive in the south.
Despite its placement near the SSRC in Syria for several years, there is no evidence that the S-300 system successfully intervened to counter periodic Israeli attacks on the facility.
For the first time, the S-300 fired missiles at the end of an Israeli strike in May, but to no apparent effect. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in July, “It was a one-off incident.”
Russian State outlets reported another Israeli strike on Thursday, with four jets firing four cruise missiles and 16 guided aerial bombs on the SSRC.
The sites said equipment at the facility was damaged. Without producing any evidence, they claimed Assad regime troops using Russian-made anti-aircraft weapons shot down two missiles and seven guided bombs.
UPDATE, AuGUST 23:
An Iran Revolutionary Guards General has been killed in Syria.
Iranian State media reported the demise of “military advisor” Gen. Abolfazl Alijani (pictured) in the early hours of hours of Monday morning.
No details were given. However, Israeli outlets said Israel’s airstrike on Assad regime and Iranian positions inside Syria “are not believed to be the cause”.
UPDATE, AUGUST 15:
The latest Israeli strikes on Assad regime and Iranian targets inside Syria have killed at least three regime troops and injured three others, according to Syrian State media.
Missiles landed at 8:50 p.m. on Sunday night on “some points” near the capital Damascus and close to Tartous in western Syria. As usual, the Assad military claimed some of the missiles were downed by air defenses.
The specific targets were not identified. Israel Defense Forces do not usually comment on their operations.
However, “regional intelligence and Syrian military sources” told Reuters that the Israeli attacks near the coastal city of Tartous were on an Iranian base, an air defense system, and a radar station.
Russia’s naval base on the Mediterranean is in the area.
“Two Syrian military defectors familiar with the region” said the strikes near Damascus hit outposts manned by Iran’s Lebanese ally Hezbollah.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, JULY 23: Syrian media say five Assad regime soldiers have been killed and others wounded in the latest Israeli airstrikes on positions near Damascus.
The reports said four strikes, just after midnight on Friday, targeted sites of the regime and pro-Iranian militias and a temporary storage warehouse belonging to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
One Syrian journalist reported that the strike on the Guards complex caused casualties among fighters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah. He said “large numbers” of wounded were taken to the nearby Imam Sadr Hospital.
Pro-opposition Orient News claimed the Israelis targeted an Iranian factory for the manufacture of drones in Set Zaynab in southern Damascus, as well as a gathering of pro-Iranian fighters, killing at least 10 of them.
Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai said only, “The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] operated in Syria last night. We continue to protect our security interests.”
A complaint by the Assad regime’s Foreign Ministry to the UN acknowledged the deaths of three soldiers, injury of seven, and “material losses”.
Israel has stepped up strikes on regime and Iranian targets this year, seeking to prevent transfers of Tehran’s missiles and weapons to allies like Hezbollah. But Friday night’s attack was the first in more than two weeks, when a pro-Assad fighter was killed in a drone strike on Quneitra Province in southwest Syria.
Last month, Israeli attacks reportedly hit Iranian air defense batteries in western Syria near Russia’s main air and naval bases in the country. Strikes near Damascus destroyed runways at the International Airport, closing the complex.