(Photo Credit: AFP)
The Deputy Chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation, General Oleg Yegorov, reported on 3 January that the death toll of Israel’s recent assault on Damascus increased to six casualties.
On 2 January, Israel launched airstrikes against Damascus, killing two members of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), according to initial reports. However, Moscow claims six SAA personnel have been killed and several others wounded.
Yegorov added that four Israeli F-16 fighters attacked “defense facilities” at two airfields near Syria’s capital, further noting that the attacks had been launched from the Golan Heights without flying through Syria’s airspace.
Tel Aviv has been launching attacks against alleged Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria since 2017. In recent months, Israel has increased its attacks on Syria’s airports to hinder Iran’s increasing use of aerial supply lines to deliver arms to its allies in Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.
In a similar incident in September 2022, the Israeli air force launched airstrikes on the outskirts of Damascus, including the capital’s airport, killing five Syrian soldiers.
This Israeli attack comes less than a month after Tel Aviv targeted Damascus and Aleppo airports, bringing the latter out of service.
In June last year, Israeli airstrikes left Damascus airport temporarily out of service for nearly two weeks.
The UN Syria Commissioner Lynn Welchmann told reporters in Geneva on 14 September that the Israeli airstrikes on Syria’s main airstrip “made it impossible for the UN to deliver humanitarian aid to Syrians in need.”
A month prior, 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 the UN Secretary-General and 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 also urged the UN to ensure that Israel abides by the relevant Security Council resolutions and ends its attacks on the region.