Syrian state media claims Israeli missile strike targets Damascus airport
The Arab Weekly Staff
Two Israeli missiles struck targets near Damascus airport early Tuesday, Syrian state media said, while a monitoring group said they hit arms depots for Hezbollah.
In a report in the early hours of Tuesday, Syria’s state news agency Sana said “two Israeli missiles came down near Damascus international airport.”
State news agency SANA says the strike Tuesday happened shortly after midnight. The agency linked the reported Israeli attack to the government’s ongoing offensive against rebel groups in Syria’s southwestern region, which borders Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and Jordan.
SANA said the strike is part of Israel’s support for the rebels amid their “major losses” in the south and elsewhere in Syria.
The head of monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, also told AFP that “the Israeli missiles hit arms depots for Hezbollah near the airport”.
He said the air strike took place at 1:00 am local time “without causing huge explosions” even though they hit the weapons stores.
The observatory added that the Syrian air defence “failed to intercept the missiles”.
When contacted by AFP, a spokesman for the Israeli army said: “We do not comment on foreign reports.”
Israel has warned of a growing Iranian military presence in neighbouring Syria, which it sees as a threat to its safety.
Its military has been carrying out strikes on Iranian and Iran-affiliated targets in Syria, with a US official saying it was Israeli forces that carried out a deadly strike against an Iraqi paramilitary base in eastern Syria on June 17.
Israeli seized a large swathe of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it, in a move never recognised by the international community.
Arab Weekly Staff and Agencies