Foreign Report: Hearing at least 5 explosions, the IAF allegedly targeted ‘game-changing’ weapons meant for Hezbollah and other pro-Iranian militias fighting in Syria early Thursday morning.
By Roi Kais
The Israel Air Force reportedly attacked an Iranian arms depot near the Damascus International Airport early Thursday morning, according to the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Manar television station.
According to various reports, a series of explosions at fuel tanks and warehouses near the airport rocked eastern Damascus at around 3:20am.
Regular supplies of weapons from Tehran are sent by commercial and military cargo planes through the arms supply hub, which is operated by Hezbollah, Reuters cited a regional intelligence source as saying.
The depot handles a significant amount of weapons that Tehran, a major regional ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, sends regularly by air, the source said, without giving further details.
The source said the arms depot gets a major part of the weapons supplied to an array of Iranian backed militias, led by Hezbollah, which have thousands of fighters engaged in some of the toughest fronts against Syrian rebels.
Videos and pictures were uploaded to social media showing the fire in the area.
— Vince Beshara (@Jacm212) April 27, 2017
According to al-Manar, initial indications were that the blast had caused only material damage and not deaths.
Reports of the explosions also came from opposition sources within the country, as well as from the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the civil war in the country using sources on the ground.
Officials on both sides of the Syrian conflict—among opposition forces and among forces fighting alongside President Bashar Assad—attributed the attack to Israel. Russian news site Sputnik also reported that Israel was behind the attack of five targets.
According to Ynet’s military commentator Ron Ben-Yishai, it is likely the attack targeted a shipment from Iran of game-changing weapons meant for Hezbollah.
Israel’s Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said such a strike would be in line with Israeli policy, but stopped short of taking responsibility for it.
Katz wouldn’t comment directly on the strike Thursday morning but said “it absolutely matches our declared policy, a policy that we also implement.”
Israel has repeatedly warned against “game-changing” weapons reaching Hezbollah from Syria, which along with Iran supports the militant group. Hezbollah fired more than 4,000 rockets on Israel in the 2006 war.
While Israel has been largely unaffected by the Syrian civil war, it has carried out a number of airstrikes on suspected weapon convoys it believed were destined for Hezbollah.
Reuters and AP contributed to this report.
View original Ynet Publication at: