Israeli jets reportedly strike weapons depot outside Damascus
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Israeli jets reportedly strike weapons depot outside Damascus

No casualties as three separate airstrikes target area known to be a Hezbollah stronghold; Israel, Syria mum on alleged attack

Illustrative: Israeli F-35 fighter jets fly over Jerusalem during celebrations marking Israel's 69th Independence Day on May 2, 2017. (AFP Photo/Thomas Coex)
Illustrative: Israeli F-35 fighter jets fly over Jerusalem during celebrations marking Israel's 69th Independence Day on May 2, 2017. (AFP Photo/Thomas Coex)

Israeli warplanes early on Friday morning struck a Hezbollah weapons depot outside Damascus, Arabic-language media outlets reported.

According to reports and a monitoring group, the three separate strikes were carried out near the Damascus International Airport, an area known to be a stronghold of the Iranian-backed terrorist group.

“Israeli warplanes targeted with rocket fire a weapons depot belonging to Hezbollah near the airport,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

There were no reports of casualties or damage.

Images of the alleged Israeli strike uploaded to social media showed smoke and a large ball of fire from the area near the airport.

There was no immediate comment from Israel, Syria or Hezbollah on any of the reports.

Video uploaded to social media was said to show the Syrian military firing an anti-aircraft missile in response to the strike.

خاص سوريه ببساطه، قبل قليل فيديو للحظه إطلاق صاروخ من قبل الدفاع الجوي السوري مستهدفا طائره معاديه

Posted by ‎سورية ببساطه‎ on ceturtdiena, 2017. gada 21. septembris

Israel has for years has been widely believed to have carried out airstrikes on advanced weapons systems in Syria — including Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles and Iranian-made missiles — as well as Hezbollah positions, but it rarely confirms such operations on an individual basis.

Earlier this month, Israel allegedly struck a facility in northwestern Syria, where the regime was said to have stockpiled chemical weapons and missiles, killing two people.

A Syrian facility reportedly attacked by Israeli aircraft early on Thursday, September 7, 2017 (screen capture: Twitter)

Jerusalem fears that the Iranian presence in southern Syria, near the Golan Heights, would serve as a springboard for terrorist groups to attack Israel in the future.

On Tuesday, the Israeli Air Force shot down an Iranian-built drone launched by Hezbollah with a Patriot missile after it attempted to cross into Israeli airspace.

The military also scrambled fighter jets to the area, but ultimately did not need to use them as the interceptor missile was able to destroy the target.

Judah Ari Gross and AFP contributed to this report.

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