Iran, Hezbollah targets not hit in alleged Israeli strike, terror group claims
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Iran, Hezbollah targets not hit in alleged Israeli strike, terror group claims

Official from Lebanese organization contradicts reports saying raid near Damascus last week targeted its weapons depots

Illustrative: Flames rising after an attack in an area known to have numerous Syrian army military bases, in Kisweh, south of Damascus, released by Syria's official news agency on May 9, 2018. (SANA, via AP)
Illustrative: Flames rising after an attack in an area known to have numerous Syrian army military bases, in Kisweh, south of Damascus, released by Syria's official news agency on May 9, 2018. (SANA, via AP)

Lebanese terror group Hezbollah on Monday denied reports that an alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria last week targeted its positions and those of its ally, Iran.

Following the raid on Thursday night, the director of the Syria Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, said Friday that the bombardment had hit two positions in the south of Damascus province, including an area believed to be an Iranian weapons depot near the capital.

According to Abdel Rahman, two Israeli missiles hit al-Kiswah, where he said there are “weapons depots belonging to the Lebanese Hezbollah [terrorist group] as well as Iranian forces.”

But contradicting that, a senior Hezbollah source was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying that “Iranian and Hezbollah positions in Kiswah, southern Syria, were not exposed to any bombardment.”

The Israeli military has refused to comment on the raid, but denied a report in Russian media after the incident that an Israeli plane had been shot down.

Another missile hit the area of Harfa, near the Israeli border, where there is a Syrian military base, the Observatory said.

Explosions were also reported in and around the Syrian capital of Damascus, near its international airport, which Israel claims has been used by Iran to supply terror groups with advanced weaponry.

According to the Kremlin-backed Sputnik new site, blasts were also heard near the town of al-Dimas, along the Damascus-Beirut highway, which may indicate that an arms shipment was targeted in the alleged Israeli strikes.

In recent years, Israel has acknowledged conducting hundreds of airstrikes in Syria, which it says are aimed at both preventing Iran from establishing a permanent military presence in Syria and blocking the transfer of advanced munitions to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Israel has designated these two issues as “red lines” that it will take military action to prevent.

Reports in recent days have indicated that Iran is now flying weapons for Hezbollah directly to Beirut, rather than via Syria.

Israel has repeatedly warned that Iran is trying to upgrade Hezbollah’s massive rocket arsenal and improve the accuracy of the missiles.

Once a regular occurrence, reports of Israeli airstrikes in Syria have become increasingly rare in the past two months, after Syria accidentally shot down a Russian spy plane during an Israeli raid, which Moscow blamed on Israel.

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