A senior Israeli official accused Iran on Sunday of attempting to open a new front against Israel from Syria and indirectly confirmed that Tel Aviv had targeted the airports in Damascus and Aleppo.

The accusation was made by Joshua Zarka, the head of strategic affairs at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, in a statement he posted on X.

Jol Rayburn, director of the American Center for Middle East Studies, commented that “Israel’s repeated strikes to disable the airports in Damascus and Aleppo send a strong signal, in my opinion: First, that the Iranian regime is attempting to transfer strategic weaponry to Syria or through Syria to open a northern front, and second, that the Israelis are committed to pre-empting this.”

Zarka, in response, said “Regarding the first point, they (the Iranians) are doing that, and regarding the second point, we are doing that.”

Officially, Israel has not acknowledged responsibility for a missile strike on Oct. 12 that led to the closure of the international airports in Damascus and Aleppo.

Israel has previously expressed concerns about Iranian interference through Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza since Oct. 7.

In recent days, the Israeli army and Hezbollah have exchanged attacks across the Blue Line, resulting in casualties on both sides.

Both Israel and Iran consider each other their primary regional adversaries, and Israel has continued to occupy territory in Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine since the 1967 war.

As of Sunday morning, the Israeli army has killed 2,329 Palestinians, including almost 700 children, and injured over 9,000 others since Oct. 7, while Hamas has killed more than 1,300 Israelis, injured around 3,500, and captured over a hundred others, according to official sources from both sides.

*Writing by Rania Abu Shamala

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