Syrian state media reports explosion in northern city of Aleppo

Airstrikes attributed to Israel earlier this month targeted presumed missile workshop in area

Illustrative: An explosion seen near the city of Homs in Syria attributed to Israeli airstrikes on March 5, 2020 (video screen capture)
Illustrative: An explosion seen near the city of Homs in Syria attributed to Israeli airstrikes on March 5, 2020 (video screen capture)

An explosion was heard in the Syrian city of Aleppo in the early hours of Saturday morning, Syrian state TV said.

No other details were immediately available. The Syrian official state news agency SANA first reported the incident.

On May 4, two rounds of airstrikes attributed to Israel targeted Iran-linked targets in Syria, including one against a weapons factory in al-Safira outside Aleppo and a second against militia bases in Deir Ezzor in the east of the country.

Those attacks were the sixth and seventh strikes attributed to Israel against Iran-linked forces in Syria in a period of two weeks.

The airstrike near Aleppo caused major damage to a presumed missile workshop, according to satellite images released by the Israeli analysis firm ImageSat International.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the airstrike on the al-Safira facility caused massive secondary explosions.

According to the Observatory, the strike on Tehran-backed militia bases in the Deir Ezzor region killed 14 pro-Iranian fighters, who were all either Iranian or Iraqi nationals.

The Britain-based monitor did not report any deaths in the strike on the weapons factory outside Aleppo.

Though Israeli officials generally refrain from taking responsibility for specific strikes in Syria, they have acknowledged conducting hundreds to thousands of raids in the country since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

These have overwhelmingly been directed against Iran and its proxies, notably Hezbollah, but the IDF has also carried out strikes on Syrian air defenses when those batteries have fired at Israeli jets.

Israel’s fight against Iran in Syria has been ongoing for nearly a decade, after Tehran began sending its troops and its proxies into the country at the outbreak of the civil war there in 2011, but recent months have seen an increase in the number of strikes against Iran-linked sites in Syria, with the highest concentration around the capital, Damascus.

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