Israel strikes Syrian arms depot near Damascus airport

LOUAI BESHARA

The Sana news agency said a fuel tank and warehouse were destroyed as Hezbollah's media channel Al-Manar pointed the finger at Israeli warplanes. It said "Israeli aggression" had caused explosions and some material losses, but it did not expand on the damage.

The same source went on to describe the bombing as "a desperate attempt to lift the morale of [anti-Assad] terrorist groups", which, he asserted, "are now in a state of disarray after sustaining repeated blows by Syrian forces".

A series of explosions occurred near Syria's Damascus International Airport Thursday morning, according to the New York Times.

Speaking to Israel's Army Radio, Intelligence Minister, Yisrael Katz, vaguely confirmed the strike was in line with Israeli policy to prevent "Iran's smuggling of advanced weapons via Syria to Hezbollah".

"The Patriot Aerial Defence System intercepted a target above the Golan Heights", the official Israeli army Twitter account said, without elaborating.

Hezbollah militants have been fighting alongside Syrian regime forces since 2012.

Syria yesterday accused France of concealing the real identity of those behind a suspected gas attack, a day after Paris said it had proof the regime was responsible.




Israel does not usually confirm or deny each individual raid it carries out.

On Wednesday, Arab media reported that Israel attacked a Syrian Army air base near Damascus.

The source said the arms depot gets a major part of the weapons supplied to an array of Iranian backed armed groups, led by Hezbollah, which have thousands of fighters engaged in battle against Syrian rebels.

As many as five strikes are thought to have hit the depot.

Things are getting tense between Israel and Syria, with the latest provocation coming before sunrise Thursday.

The two countries are still technically at war, although the border remained largely quiet for decades until 2011, when the Syrian conflict broke out. Hezbollah and Israel fought each other in the 2006 Lebanon War.

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