(Beirut) Four Syrian soldiers and three pro-Iranian foreign fighters were killed overnight from Monday to Tuesday in northern Syria in Israeli strikes that also damaged Aleppo international airport, according to the Syrian Observatory human rights.
“At approximately 11:35 p.m. (4:35 p.m. Eastern Time)…the Israeli enemy conducted an air strike with several missiles…targeting Aleppo International Airport and a number of nearby locations. ‘Aleppo,’ Syria’s official Sana news agency initially reported, citing a military source.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH) later reported several “explosions in the area of the airport […] and the Nayrab military airfield [near] Aleppo province [ …] which resulted in a fire in an ammunition depot” at the airfield.
The strikes “completely destroyed” this depot, killing four Syrian army officers and “three pro-Iran foreign fighters”, said the UK-based NGO, which relies on an extensive network of sources on field.
A previous report from the Sana agency reported one soldier killed and seven people injured, including two civilians.
“Aleppo airport is out of service,” Sana said, information confirmed by OSDH and other local media.
Authorities did not provide additional information about the reopening of the airport or the nature of the damage.
“Israeli missiles fell on defense [equipment] factories in the Safireh area” in Aleppo province, causing “material damage”, the OSDH also added, saying that these sites were used by pro-Iranian fighters.
Since the start of the war in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes against regime positions as well as Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces, allies of Damascus and sworn enemies of Israel.
Iran-backed militias have a strong presence in the Aleppo region and provided essential ground support to the Syrian army during the recapture of rebel-held areas of the city in 2016.
On March 22, an Israeli strike destroyed a supposed arms depot of pro-Iranian groups at Aleppo airport, according to the OSDH.
On March 7, three people were killed in an Israeli strike at the same airport. In both cases, the airport had to cease operations temporarily.