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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Israel strikes Iran-supplied arms depot near Damascus airport

AMMAN/BEIRUT, April 27 (Reuters) - Israel struck an arms supply hub operated by the Lebanese group Hezbollah near Damascus airport on Thursday, Syrian rebel and regional intelligence sources said, targeting weapons sent from Iran via commercial and military cargo planes.
Video carried on Lebanese TV and shared on social media showed the pre-dawn airstrikes caused a fire around the airport east of the Syrian capital, suggesting fuel sources or weapons containing explosives were hit.
Syrian state media said Israeli missiles hit a military position southwest of the airport, but did not mention arms or fuel. It said "Israeli aggression" had caused explosions and some material losses, but did not expand on the damage.
Israel does not usually comment on action it takes in Syria. But Intelligence Minister Israel Katz, speaking to Army Radio from the United States, appeared to confirm involvement.
"The incident in Syria corresponds completely with Israel's policy to act to prevent Iran's smuggling of advanced weapons via Syria to Hezbollah," he said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had "said that whenever we receive intelligence that indicates an intention to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah, we will act", he added.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said: "We can't comment on such reports."
Two senior rebel sources in the Damascus area, citing monitors in the eastern outskirts of the capital, said five strikes hit an ammunition depot used by Iran-backed militias.
Lebanon's al-Manar television, which is affiliated with Hezbollah, said early indications were that the strikes hit warehouses and fuel tanks. It said there no casualties. READ MORE