October 12, 2023 | Flash Brief

Syria Reports Israeli Strikes on Damascus, Aleppo Airports

October 12, 2023 | Flash Brief

Syria Reports Israeli Strikes on Damascus, Aleppo Airports

Latest Developments

Syria reported Israeli strikes against two of its major airports on October 12, underscoring the potential for escalation on yet another front. There was no immediate word on the extent of damage at Damascus International Airport and Aleppo International Airport, though there were preliminary reports of operations at both being suspended. The Israeli military offered no immediate comment.

The new development, on the sixth of day of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, came as Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian began a regional tour meant to drum up support for the Palestinian terrorist group. Amirabdollahian had been expected to visit Syria on October 13, after a first stop in Iraq. Lebanon is also on his itinerary.

Since the Gaza war erupted with the October 7 Hamas massacres in southern Israel, there have been limited knock-on hostilities across Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon. But Israel is braced for escalation there — a prospect that has been acknowledged by Washington, given U.S. emergency naval deployments in the eastern Mediterranean.

Damascus is an Iranian ally with a long history of sponsoring both Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It has also allowed Iran and Tehran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah to deploy operatives, missiles, and attack drones in Syria as part of a strategy of encircling Israel with proxy forces. Syria is also the main corridor for Iranian shipments of advanced weapons to Hezbollah. For more than a decade, Israel has sought to beat back these efforts with air strikes.

Expert Analysis

“If these Israeli strikes are aimed only to deny the top diplomat of the world’s biggest supporter of state terrorism a place to land, that would appear to be reason enough. Iran is fully behind the Hamas monstrosities and should not be allowed to shuttle around drumming up support for an evil cause. Let Iranian Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian visit Syria by car, if he dares.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“The Assad regime is an integral part of the Iranian axis, where mass murderers are welcome. For the last 10 years, Israel has been working to disrupt Iranian shipments of precision strike weapons that cross Syrian territory en route to Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon. By building up the lethal threat on Israel’s northern border, Tehran has forced Jerusalem to contend with the risk of a multi-front war against well-prepared adversaries. If Hamas is on the ropes in Gaza, Tehran may bring Hezbollah into the fight.” — David Adesnik, Senior Fellow and Director of Research

It’s the hidden hand of Khamenei’s regime in Iran that set the Middle East ablaze — and will trigger all-out war.” by Mark Dubowitz

Turning Congressional Outrage Into Action: A U.S. Response to Hamas’ War Against Israel,” by Mark Dubowitz and Richard Goldberg

What the US and Israel need to do next in face of Iran terror,” by Richard Goldberg


Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Israel at War Jihadism Syria