Damascus International Airport
Damascus International Airport (Wikimedia CC)

The Syrian state news agency SANA announced Saturday night that Israel had attacked Damascus airport with missiles, activating its air defenses, which intercepted a number of shells.

Syrian media reports further indicate that their Russian-made S-200 air defense systems were destroyed in the missile attack.

According to a Hadashot Channel report, an Iranian Boeing aircraft converted into a cargo plane was loaded with weapons in Tehran and landed at Damascus international airport.

The alleged Israeli attack also reportedly targeted several weapons depots at the airport. According to the report, efforts have been made to conceal the true purpose of the warehouses with roof-painted legends such as “UN” or “DHL,” the international mail company, in an apparent attempt to elude Israeli intelligence.

The Syrian Human Rights Observatory, a London-based nongovernmental organization with an extensive network of activists on the ground, said the target of the attack was a weapons depot near the airport, where a shipment of sophisticated weapons had recently arrived for either the Iranians or Lebanon’s pro-Iranian Shia terrorist group Hezbollah.

The Observatory noted that the Israeli attack caused “substantial” damage to the airport, but did not provide immediate details of casualties.