According to Syrian official television, Israeli forces have fired missiles against the country’s two main international airports, rendering them inoperable.
State media reported that runways at Damascus and Aleppo airports had been damaged, and that aircraft would be redirected to Latakia, a city in northwestern Syria.
Israel has not responded to the strike. It has previously struck Iranian-linked locations in war-torn Syria.
Iran’s foreign minister planned to travel to Syria on Friday.
Syria’s airports in Damascus and Aleppo not only handle civil aircraft but also military bases, which are purportedly transit points for Iranian arms given to Hezbollah, a militant group that is powerful in both Syria and Lebanon.
According to Syrian state media, “simultaneous” Israeli strikes “damaged landing strips in the two airports, putting them out of service.” According to the source, it was a “desperate” Israeli attempt to shift attention away from the Gaza fighting.
Live updates from Israel and Gaza
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who was scheduled to visit Syria as part of a regional tour in the coming days, arrived in Iraq on Thursday and is also scheduled to visit Lebanon.
The tour is considered as an attempt by Tehran to garner regional support for Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip. The Iranian leadership, which is bitterly opposed to Israel, welcomed Hamas’ surprise attack on Saturday, which murdered 1,300 Israelis.
Iran has denounced Israel’s retaliatory bombing of Gaza, which has resulted in the destruction of entire neighborhoods. According to Palestinian sources, the explosions have killed over 1,400 people.
There have been occasional cross-border exchanges of fire between Israel and terrorists in southern Lebanon and Syria since the Hamas attack. To counter any Hezbollah attack, Israel has moved reinforcements to the north.
Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia are significant partners of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his ongoing fight against opposition groups and the so-called Islamic State (IS).