MOSCOW (AP) – Syrian air defense forces shot down seven of eight missiles launched by Israeli warplanes in a raid targeting Syria’s Aleppo province, the Russian military said on Tuesday.
Rear Admiral Vadim Kulit, head of the Russian Army’s Syrian Reconciliation Center, said four Israeli F-16 fighter jets targeted facilities southeast of Aleppo during Monday’s attack.
Kulit said seven of the eight missiles launched by Israeli fighter jets were shot down by Syrian air defense units that used Russian-supplied air defense systems Pantsyr-S and Buk-M2. A missile damaged the building of a scientific research center in Safira, he said.
A Syrian military official previously said in statements broadcast by state-run SANA news agency that Israel carried out an airstrike in Aleppo province on Monday evening. He said Syrian air defenses shot down most of the missiles in the attack that occurred just before midnight.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor that has militants on the ground in Syria, said the Israeli strikes targeted arms depots belonging to militias supported by the Iran operating in the Safira region of Aleppo. The group said the strikes were followed by heavy explosions. The arms depots were located inside Syrian military posts, the group said.
Israel has launched hundreds of strikes against Iranian-linked military targets in Syria over the years, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations. Israel fears Iranian entrenchment on its northern border and has repeatedly struck Iran-linked installations and weapons convoys destined for Hezbollah.
Russia has waged a military campaign in Syria since 2015, helping President Bashar Assad’s government regain control of most of the country after a devastating civil war. Moscow has also helped modernize Syria’s military arsenals and train its personnel.