Israel Attacks Syrian Arms Depot Near Damascus Airport

Syrian state television reported Thursday that missiles had hit a military site southwest of the airport, quoting a military source.

The source said numerous arms are destined for an array of Iran-backed militias, led by Hezbollah, which have thousands of fighters engaged in some of the toughest fronts against Syrian rebels.

A massive explosion struck near Damascus International Airport early today setting off large fires, a monitoring group said, without specifying the cause.

While Syrian government sources claim that the strikes targeted a fuel tank and warehouses, rebel groups say that the target was an arms depot operated by the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah.

The Syrian aircraft's penetration of Israeli airspace could trigger another military strike from Israel.

Yisrael Katz, Israel's intelligence minister, strongly suggested Israeli forces carried out the attack.

"Every time we receive intelligence information on plans to transfer advanced weaponry to Hezbollah, we will act", the minister added.

Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Observatory, said the blast could be heard throughout the Syrian capitol and woke up many residents at around 3:20 AM. Israel has annexed the Golan Heights in 1981 following the 1967 Six-Day War with Syria.

SANA, the state-run Syrian news agency, said that Israel had carried out missile strikes on the airport, but it did not specify what had been hit.

Hostilities between Israel and Syria regularly escalate, with Israeli Defense Force (IDF) planes hitting targets in Syria in response to cross-border fire incidents while also attacking groups Israel deems hostile inside the country.

Peskov also said Syria's sovereignty should be respected. Hezbollah fired more than 4,000 rockets on Israel in the 2006 war.

"When we identify attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah and we have intelligence and it is operationally possible, we will act to stop it", said Netanyahu.

The March launch of anti-aircraft missiles showed growing confidence on the part of the Syrian regime, a senior Israeli officer said recently, due to "support from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah".

"Iran and Hezbollah are overstretched, and it's not clear they can afford to gamble with a direct showdown with Israel now", said Maha Yahya, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center.

In January a series of explosions ripped through the al-Mazzeh military airport on the western outskirts of Damascus.

Israel regards Hezbollah, and its key backer Iran, as its biggest threat.

Latest News