Israeli rockets strike military position near Aleppo, Syrian state media says

Elias Hubbard
July 16, 2018

Syrian military positions near Aleppo airport have come under a missile strike, state media reports, blaming Israel for the attack.

It said the strikes were an attempt by Israel to support rebels in southern Syria, where Syrian government forces have been waging an offensive.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said it had recorded several blasts around Neirab on Sunday evening.

SANA said there was only damage to the site, identified as the Al-Nayrab airbase, adjacent to Aleppo's worldwide airport.

"The Zionist enemy. targeted with its missiles one of our military positions north of the Neirab military airport, but the damage was only material", it said, citing a military source.

However, Israel rarely confirms strikes on any Syrian positions.

Al-Nayrab has in the past been linked with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps militia. While Israeli engagement in Syria intensified over the last months, the strikes focused mainly on positions around the Israeli controlled Golan Heights and the suburbs of Damascus. The IDF does not comment on every engagement on its neighbor's territory, but previously acknowledged targets by Israel in Syria included weapons storage facilities, logistics sites, and intelligence centers.

Aleppo, in the far north of the country, is rarely targeted.

Sunday's strike on Aleppo's airport coincided with the much anticipated Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, where the situation in Syria is expected to feature prominently in the United States and Russian leaders' talks.

Israel has repeatedly warned it will not tolerate an entrenched presence of its archfoe Iran in the neighbouring country. Russian Federation has reportedly only agreed to removing them from the Golan border region.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised the matter with both Trump and Putin in the run-up to their Helsinki summit, amid reports that Israel and the U.S. are coordinating a strategy that would see the total removal of Iranian forces from Syria in exchange for Israel's nonintervention in the stabilization of Assad's rule and, even more significantly, a potential offer from Trump to drop sanctions and recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea.

On July 8, Israel was accused of carrying out an airstrike on the T-4 military base near Homs, also thought to be used by IRGC fighters.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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