Iran’s Revolutionary Guards announced Saturday that two of its officers were killed in Syria, after Damascus said Israeli airstrikes hit a number of targets near the Syrian capital overnight.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said Mohammad Ali Atai Shoorcheh and Panah Taghizadeh were “martyred” while on an advisory mission to Syria, blaming the “Zionists” for their death.
Syria said Israeli airstrikes targeted multiple areas near Damascus. There was no official comment from the Israel Defense Forces.
“At approximately 1:35 a.m. today, the Israeli enemy carried out an air assault from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan, targeting some points near the city of Damascus,” the Syrian defense ministry said in a statement, reporting no casualties.
Syria state television had reported an “Israeli aggression near the capital.”
State news agency SANA, citing an unnamed military official, said the strikes came from the direction of the Golan Heights and that Syrian air defenses shot most of the missiles down.
— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) December 2, 2023
The strikes resulted in “material losses,” the statement said.
The Syrian military regularly claims to shoot down incoming missiles, which analysts largely dismiss as empty boasts.
While Israel’s military does not, as a rule, comment on specific strikes in Syria, it has admitted to conducting hundreds of sorties against Iran-backed terror groups attempting to gain a foothold in the country, over the last decade.
The Israeli military says it attacks arms shipments believed to be bound for those groups, chief among them Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Additionally, airstrikes attributed to Israel have repeatedly targeted Syrian air defense systems.
The IDF has carried out hundreds of strikes inside government-controlled parts of war-torn Syria in recent years, often targeting Hezbollah and other terror groups backed by Iran, but it rarely acknowledges or discusses the operations.
Israel has struck targets in Syria several times since the onset of the Hamas-Israel war on October 7, when terrorists killed some 1,200 people in Israel — the vast majority of them civilians — and took some 240 hostages.
On Sunday, a reported Israeli airstrike hit the international airport in Damascus and put it out of commission, just hours after the airport resumed flights following a monthlong hiatus after a previous Israeli strike.
SANA, citing a military source, said Israeli fighter jets fired missiles from the Golan Heights and hit Damascus International Airport and a number of other sites in the area. The pro-government Sham FM radio said the runway at the airport was hit.
The state-run agency said that “material damage” was caused to the airport, putting it out of service. There were no reports of casualties in the strikes.
After resuming services at Damascus Intl. Airport yesterday, it is now stopped, again. pic.twitter.com/t808A7K63r
— Aurora Intel (@AuroraIntel) November 26, 2023
Damascus airport has been allegedly struck by Israel several times over the past year, as Israel is believed to be stepping up efforts to prevent the shipment of advanced weapons from Iran to its various Middle East proxies.
Aleppo airport was also put out of service by an alleged Israeli strike.