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Suspected Israeli airstrikes hit near Aleppo

The strikes were the first since Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett took office.
JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Israel fired missiles into Syria late Monday night, according to Syrian state media outlets.

The Syrian military’s air defense forces responded to “Israeli missile aggression on a number of posts” in the Al-Safirah region southwest of Aleppo. The strikes began at 11:37 p.m. local time and caused material damages. Syrian forces downed some of the missiles, the government’s official SANA news outlet reported.

Israel is suspected of carrying out regular airstrikes in Syrian territory, though the Israeli military rarely confirms it. The missiles have hit both Syrian military and Iran-backed militia targets in the country. The previous most recent strikes occurred in June. Monday’s operation was the first under new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who took office last month.

Iranian forces are in Syria to help the government in its war against rebel groups. Israel views the Iranian presence as a threat due to the Islamic Republic’s threats against Israel and its support for proxy groups like Hezbollah who are in conflict with Israel.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry condemned Monday’s airstrikes and accused Israel of launching the attack at the same time Islamist rebel forces fired missiles at government-held Aleppo and northern parts of al-Hama province. The Syrian military is currently fighting rebel forces in northwest Idlib province, close to Aleppo and Hama.