Israeli Air Force second F-35 squadron in January 2020. (Photo credit: Israeli armed forces spokesperson)
On the morning of 2 July, the Israeli air force launched an attack on Tartous, Syria.
Breaking News: Israel launches airstrikes near Tartous, Syria pic.twitter.com/RucqSaBxJV
— The Cradle (@TheCradleMedia) July 2, 2022
This is the first airstrike to be carried out during the tenure of Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who assumed the post after the dissolution of the government of former prime minister Naftali Bennett on 30 June.
The aerial aggression targeted several poultry farms at 6:30am in Hamidiya, a town south of Tartous. The planes launched the missiles in the airspace of the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.
According to a military source who spoke to the Syrian state news agency SANA, two civilians were injured, including a woman, and some material damage was reported as well.
There were no reports of Syrian air defense activation.
A recent Israeli aerial aggression against Syria targeted the Damascus International Airport on 10 June.
The attack led to the crippling of the entire airport, and was out of commission for several weeks until it was fully restored on 23 June.
According to Israeli media, the decision to halt operations at the airport was an attempt to deny Iran access to infrastructure that could be utilized for weapon transfers.
However, unlike previous airstrikes – notably, when the Israeli army damaged the tip of the runway on 3 February 2021 to hinder the landing of heavy cargo planes – the damage inflicted on 10 June affected six different locations across hundreds of meters on two separate runways.
Damascus International Airport is a key lifeline between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the various resistance groups in Lebanon and Palestine, who receive military, financial, and other forms of support with Syria as a transit stop.
Many believe that disrupting services in the airport is likely to put a strain on Tehran’s steady support to Lebanese and Palestinian armed resistance groups, in addition to vital humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of Syrians whose country is affected by US sanctions.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova conveyed Moscow’s condemnation of the attack, and demanded that Israel “stop these evil practices.”
“Russia reiterates that the consistent Israeli aggression on the Syrian Arab Republic’s territories poses violation of the basic rules of the international law,” the Russian official said. “Such irresponsible actions pose grave threats to the International Air Transport and puts innocent souls at risk.”
Last month, in a letter to the UN, Syria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanded that the UN issue a “clear” condemnation of the frequent airstrikes by Israel on its territory.
The letter was sent to UN Secretary General and the president of the UN Security Council, who said Damascus hoped that the two UN bodies would “adopt a clear position on the Israeli attacks on Syrian sovereignty.”
The Syrian ministry urged the UN to ensure Israel abides by the relevant Security Council resolutions and ends its attacks on the region.