The Israeli military will continue launching frequent airstrikes in Syria in 2022, The Times of Israel reported on Tuesday.
Israeli officials rarely comment on airstrikes in Syria. When they do, the strikes are usually framed as attacks on Iran even though they often hit Syrian troops, members of Iraq’s Shia militias, and civilian infrastructure.
The Times report said the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) claimed the airstrikes in 2021 “significantly curbed” Iran’s ability to send weapons into Syria, which is why the air campaign will continue.
The Israelis claim Iranian weapons inside Syria are a significant threat even though attacks on Israel are almost never launched from Syria despite the constant airstrikes. The rare attack launched from Syrian territory is usually carried out with crude rockets, a sign that the Syrian military is not involved.
The latest Israeli airstrikes in Syria targeted the port of Latakia early Tuesday morning. The Israeli attack caused a fire that burned shipping containers. Syrian journalists said the fire mostly burned food and medical supplies.
Israel’s airstrikes play a role in Washington’s campaign against Damascus. The US maintains crippling economic sanctions on Syria and occupies eastern Syria, where most of the country’s oil and agricultural resources are. In some recent airstrikes, Israeli warplanes were spotted flying from the direction of the US’s al-Tanf military base in southeastern Syria.