An Israeli attack targeting a Syrian airport tore a hole in its only runway and damaged a nearby piece of asphalt and structure on the military side of the airfield, satellite photo analysis showed.
The attack on Wednesday night on Aleppo International Airport comes after an Israeli strike months ago took out the runway at the country’s main airport in the capital, Damascus, over Iranian weapons transfers to the country.
The satellite photos taken on Thursday by Planet Labs PBC showed vehicles gathered around the site of one of the strikes at the airport, near the western edge of its runway.
The strike tore a hole through the runway and ignited a grassfire at the airfield.
Just south of the runway damage on the military side of the airport, debris lay scattered after another strike hit an object on the tarmac and another structure.
Flights at the airport have been disrupted by the attack.
Late on Thursday, Syria’s Foreign Ministry described the damage from the attack as severe, saying it hit the runway and “completely destroyed the navigational station with its equipment”.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based opposition war monitor, alleged immediately after the strike that Israel targeted an Iranian missile shipment to the Aleppo airport.
Iran, as well as Lebanon’s allied Hezbollah militant group, has been crucial to embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad remaining in power since a war began in his country amid the 2011 Arab Spring.
Just before the strike, a transponder on an Antonov An-74 cargo plane flown by Iran’s Yas Air – sanctioned years earlier by the US Treasury over flying weapons on behalf of the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard – briefly pinged near Aleppo, according to flight-tracking data.
Cargo aircraft over Syria often do not broadcast their location data, likely due in part to the international sanctions on Mr Assad’s government.
A phone number listed to Yas Air went unanswered on Friday.
Iran and Syria’s missions to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday from The Associated Press.
Israel, which has conducted numerous attacks on Syria in its shadow war with Iran in the wider Middle East, has not directly acknowledged Wednesday’s strike.
Syria’s Foreign Ministry called on the UN Security Council to condemn the attacks, saying Damascus holds Israel responsible “for deliberately targeting the international airports of Damascus and Aleppo and for endangering civilian facilities and the lives of civilians”.
The strike comes as tensions across the wider Middle East remain high as talks over Iran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers hang in the balance.