warehouses were damaged, the Sana news agency said. But Syrian rebel
sources said an arms depot run by Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, which is
fighting in Syria as an ally of the government, was hit. Israel said the
explosion was “consistent” with its policy to prevent Iran smuggling weapons
of confirming it was responsible.
Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, reported that the
powerful blast was heard across the capital at dawn on Thursday and that it was
believed to have happened near the main road that leads to the airport.
missiles had been fired at a military site south-west of the airport, causing
explosions that resulted in some material losses.
Al-Mayadeen TV cited sources as saying that missiles had been fired by Israeli
jets flying inside the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
sources based in Damascus told Reuters news agency that the missiles had hit an
ammunition depot in a closed military area that was used by Iran-backed
militias operating alongside the Syrian army, led by Hezbollah.
Israeli involvement, Intelligence Minister Israel Katz told Israeli Army Radio:
“I can confirm that the incident in Syria corresponds completely with
Israel’s policy to act to prevent Iran’s smuggling of advanced weapons via
Syria to Hezbollah in Iran. Naturally, I don’t want to elaborate on this.”
minister has said that whenever we receive intelligence that indicated an
intention to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah, we will act.”
declined to comment on the reports.
understanding with Russia, by Jonathan Marcus, diplomatic correspondent, BBC
cruise missile attack on a Syrian air base at the start of this month, there
was a lot of talk about Russia and Syria strengthening their air defences and
the likely implications of this for Israel.
Israeli Air Force’s freedom of action in the skies over Syria, where it has
been conducting an intermittent air campaign to prevent sophisticated weapons
transfers to the Lebanese Shia militia group Hezbollah?
attack near Damascus airport seems to provide an answer. Israel – which is
widely seen as being behind the strike – clearly intends to continue its
campaign against Hezbollah weapons shipments and one must assume that it has a
tacit understanding with Moscow.
air defences cover much of Syrian airspace and have a more than adequate
capability to interfere with Israeli attacks if Moscow so wished.
war with Hezbollah in 2006, is thought to have bombed arms shipments intended
for the group several times since the Syrian conflict began.
month, the Israeli military confirmed that its jets had struck several targets
inside Syria in a raid that prompted the Syrian military to fire a number of
ground-to-air missiles, one of which was intercepted over Israeli territory.
high-ranking Israeli military officer briefed reporters that approximately 100
missiles intended for Hezbollah had been destroyed in the raid.