Syria says Israeli airstrikes hit near Damascus airport

According to unconfirmed reports by opposition groups, target was a weapons shipment intended for Hezbollah

An Israeli F-16 during an exercise on November 25, 2013. (Ofer Zidon/Flash90)
An Israeli F-16 during an exercise on November 25, 2013. (Ofer Zidon/Flash90)

Israel reportedly carried out an airstrike Wednesday near the airport in the Syrian capital Damascus, according to Israel’s Channel 2 TV, which cited Syrian media reports.

The reports were unconfirmed but according to Syrian opposition groups, the target was a weapons shipments likely intended for Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, Israeli Channel 10 said.

Israel is reported to have been behind a series of air raids on Syrian soil, since the Syrian civil war began in March 2011, aimed at preventing advanced weapons shipments from Iran from reaching arch-enemy Hezbollah via Syria.

Jerusalem has not openly admitted to being behind such operations. It has, however, warned that it will not permit the Lebanon-based terror group to obtain what it calls “game-changing” advanced weaponry.

In April, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon also warned that Israel would not let Iran equip Hezbollah with advanced weapons — a day after an alleged Israeli airstrike hit weapons depots in Syria.

Although Ya’alon did not discuss the airstrike that reportedly hit surface-to-surface missile depots, he declared that Israel would not allow Iran to supply arms to the terror group, which has a strong military presence in Lebanon as well as in Syria, the two countries lying on Israel’s northern borders.

In September, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a staunch ally of Assad, in an effort to avoid military confrontations in the country.

Netanyahu said that he told Putin in “no uncertain terms” that Israel will not tolerate Tehran’s efforts to arm Israel’s enemies in the region, and that Jerusalem has taken and will continue to take action against any such attempts.

“This is our right and also our duty,” he said. “There were no objections to our rights and to what I said. On the contrary: there was readiness to make sure that whatever Russia’s intentions for Syria, Russia will not be a partner in extreme actions by Iran against us.”

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