The Assad regime’s news agency, SANA, has said that on Wednesday evening, air defenses repelled an Israeli attack that targeted some positions near Aleppo in northern Syria, adding that a number of hostile missiles were stopped.
SANA quoted an unnamed regime military source as saying that, “before midnight on Wednesday, our air defense systems repelled an Israeli attack that targeted positions in the Sheikh Najjar industrial zone, northeast of Aleppo. The damage was only material.”
The Israeli side did not issue any direct comment on the regime agency’s report. Israeli typically does not comment on statements regarding its bombardment of positions in Syria.
The blasts caused an electricity blackout in Aleppo, the second largest Syrian city and the main industrial center. Military experts say that Aleppo is one of the main areas where the Iranian Revolutionary Guard has a military presence, backing local groups which have been fighting for years alongside the regime’s forces to deliver a defeat to the opposition.
Two opposition sources familiar with the Iranian military presence in the area said that a major munitions storehouse and a center for logistical supply, controlled by factions backed by Iran inside the industrial center, were directly hit.
They added that other strikes hit the area around the al-Nayrab airbase on Aleppo’s outskirts, in the second strike of its kind on the facility used by Iranian forces in less than a year.
Shia factions supported by Iran have widened the scope of their control over Sunni-majority areas around Damascus and in Syria’s south and east in areas that have seen heavy bombardments, which has led to mass displacements and flights into neighboring countries.
Iran’s developing influence in Syria, where it has signed economic and commercial deals, have stirred the possibility of a military confrontation with Israel.
Israel, which considers Iran its main threat, has repeatedly attacked Iranian targets in Syria, as well as targets of allied factions, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
This year, the Israeli army said that it had attacked Iranian targets including munitions storehouses at the Damascus International Airport. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had previously said that Israel had carried out hundreds of attacks over the last few years to curb Iran and its ally Hezbollah.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.