AP NEWS

Syria claims Israel struck targets in the country’s north

March 27, 2019

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria said Wednesday its air defenses have responded to an “Israeli air aggression” targeting positions in the northern Aleppo province.

State media quoted a military official who said the late night strikes targeted positions in an industrial area northeast of Aleppo city, causing material damage only. The unnamed military official said Syrian air defenses were activated and intercepted a number of the “attacking missiles.”

The war monitoring Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Israeli strikes hit an Iranian weapons depot in the area between the industrial zone and the Aleppo airport. The group, based in Britain, relies on a network of activists on the ground in Syria.

Iran is an ally of Damascus and has offered military advisers, sent allied militia and material support to help the Syrian government in the civil war, now in its ninth year. Israel, which considers Iran a national security threat, said it will not tolerate Iranian presence on its borders and expanding influence in Syria.

Israel has in recent weeks acknowledged it has been striking Iranian targets in Syria. The last such strikes which Israel announced were in January.

There was no immediate Israeli comment.

The night strikes come at a time of heightened tension between Israel and Syria, following Monday’s decision by the U.S. administration to recognize Israel’s control over the Golan Heights it occupied from Syria in 1967. The decision sparked worldwide condemnation and protests in Syria.