Israeli jets likely took out a Hezbollah weapons depot near Damascus International Airport, Reuters reports.
The strike hit weapons freshly ferried from Iran for the Lebanese terrorist group who is fighting on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Israel has not confirmed the strike, and usually does not acknowledge its airstrikes inside Syria.
Israel has however acknowledged in the past that it will strike Hezbollah if the group is set to acquire advanced weaponry. Israel’s intelligence affairs minister Yisrael Katz intimated to an Israeli Army radio Wednesday that the strike was “entirely consistent with our policy to prevent the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also declared in late March, “When we identify attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah and we have intelligence and it is operationally feasible, we act to prevent it.”
Hezbollah is a Lebanese terrorist organization that fought a war against Israel in 2006, and is sponsored by Iran. Damascus International Airport is reportedly a major conduit of Iranian arms bound for Hezbollah in Syria. The group has thousands of forces inside Syria fighting on behalf of the Syrian regime.
Israel and Syria have clashed in the past over strikes on Hezbollah. Syria even launched a series of anti-aircraft missiles at an Israeli Defense Force jet in late March, after one such strike. The missile was intercepted by Israel’s missile defense system and prompted a serious warning from the Israeli government. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman declared to Israeli media “The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation.”
Israel’s commitment to carrying out strikes and warning to the Syrian regime may explain Assad’s apparent decision not to engage the Israeli aircraft bombing a target in his own capital.
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