Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Syrian media: Israel attacked installation near Damascus

Ellis Copeland | 01 May, 2017, 15:59

A Defence Ministry statement said Lieberman had expressed concern to Russian ministers over "Iranian activity in Syria and the Iranian use of Syrian soil as a base for arms smuggling to Hezbollah in Lebanon".

Israel has carried out another major overnight attack on Syria today, going after an arms depot near the Damascus airport, which they say was a site which Iranian weapons were delivered to.

Throughout the Syrian war, which began in March 2011, Israel has made it clear it would not allow shipments of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah units fighting in Syria.

Intelligence Affairs Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) told Army Radio Thursday morning that the attack in Syria was "entirely consistent with our policy to prevent the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah".

On Thursday Israel's intelligence minister said the incident near Damascus "absolutely matches our declared policy, a policy that we also implement", but stopped short of declaring Israel was responsible for the strike.

Initial reports suggested the aircraft was a Syrian drone, but the army said it could not immediately confirm the details.

Hezbollah is a Lebanese terrorist organization that fought a war against Israel in 2006, and is sponsored by Iran.

Israeli warplanes have hit the airport and other bases around the capital in the past, targeting what it said were weapons stockpiles destined for Hezbollah.

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Sana said several missiles had been fired at a military site south-west of the airport, causing explosions that resulted in some material losses.

In line with its usual practice, Israel s military declined to comment on the airport blast.

A senior regional intelligence source who requested anonymity said the targeted depot handles a significant volume of weapons sent by air Iran, a leading ally of Assad in the region.

The military source also had said that the rockets have been fired from Israeli territory, according to SANA.

The Israeli military later said it shot down "a target" over the occupied Golan Heights neighbouring Syria, although it was unclear whether the two incidents were linked.

On Wednesday, Israel's Defense Ministry said Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman had discussed the situation in Syria with Russia's Defense and Foreign Ministers during an worldwide conference in Moscow.

The widely followed Diaries of a Mortar Facebook page, which is run by activists in Damascus, reported several explosions at 3:42 a.m. that could be heard and felt across the capital.

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