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Israel conducts overnight air strikes on Syria, killing ten

March 28, 2019 at 1:40 pm

A warplane carries out a bombing run above Syria near the Israeli-Syrian border as it is seen from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights [Ammar Awad/Reuters/Twitter]

The Israeli military hit the Syrian city of Aleppo with airstrikes last night, killing ten people in the process, including seven Iranian-linked fighters.

The air strikes targeted several Iranian and Syrian industrial and military targets, particularly in the Sheikh Najjar industrial zone on the outskirts of Aleppo, causing mainly material damage. The Syrian military stated that its air defences were activated and that “a number of enemy missiles were brought down,” according to Syria’s SANA news agency, citing an army statement.

However, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the attack hit Iranian ammunition stores and the Nairab military airport on the outskirts of the city, which is used by Iran.

Israel’s Foreign Minister, Yisrael Katz, stated in an interview with Reshet Bet radio this morning that “according to what the Iranians know, Israel was the one who attacked yesterday night,” adding that the attack on the Iranian munitions was a “more complex, more powerful” operation than that which Israel undertook this week in the besieged Gaza Strip.

READ: Gulf Arabs, Iran reject US recognition of Golan Heights as Israeli

The air strike marks the first such attack by Israel on Syria since January but forms part of the Israeli military’s ongoing intervention in the country throughout the Syrian conflict, which has been raging since 2011. The Iranian presence in the country – particularly in Aleppo where it is strongest – concerns Israel most, as it believes Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah have been forming a land corridor through Syria and up to Lebanon, by which they can transport arms and military supplies.

The attack comes amid the revival of a territorial dispute between Syria and Israel regarding the occupied Golan Heights. US President Donald Trump last week made the decision to officially recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the strategic area, which it has occupied since the Six Day War of 1967.

READ: Israel official reveals plan to change Golan Heights’ demographic balance