‘Israeli strikes’ hit arms supply depot in Damascus – Al Jazeera
Israeli air strikes have hit an arms depot operated by the Lebanese Hezbollah group near Damascus airport, Syrian opposition sources told Al Jazeera.
The strikes occurred near the Damascus airport road about 25km from the capital early on Thursday.
Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from the Turkish city of Gaziantep near Syria’s border, said opposition activists posted pictures online showing a huge fire near the area.
“There is no official comment from the Syrian government or from the Israelis,” Ahelbarra said.
“We do understand that the Israelis have been carrying out air strikes in the past. The last one was in January targeting the Mezze military base.
“In 2015 they also launched attacks near the capital Damascus and in the Golan Heights, killing two prominent Hezbollah commanders, including Jihad Mughniya who is the son of the top military commander of Hezbollah Imad Mughniya who was also killed in Damascus in 2008,” Ahelbarra said.
Reuters news agency, citing an intelligence source, said the depot that was targeted handles a significant amount of weapons that Tehran, a major regional ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, sends regularly by air.
The source said the arms depot gets a major part of the weapons supplied to an array of Iranian backed armed groups, led by Hezbollah, which have thousands of fighters engaged in battle against Syrian rebels.
Rami Abdurrahman, head of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the blasts were heard across the capital, jolting residents awake.
Activist-operated Dairy of a Mortar, which reports from Damascus, said the explosions near the airport road were followed by flames rising above the area.
In May 2013 Israel targeted three areas in Damascus suburbs, allegedly to destroy Iranian rockets being delivered to Hezbollah. Damascus airport was also hit by Israel in May 2013.
The Syrian army said on January 13, 2016 that Israel targeted Mezze military airbase. Mezze airbase is just a few kilometers from the presidents presidential palace.
Israel has in the past targeted Hezbollah positions inside Syria where Iranian backed groups are heavily involved in the fighting.
The Syrian government has warned in January that it would retaliate any attack in Syria targeting its own areas
Hezbollah-linked Al-Manar TV channel said dawn raid struck fuel tanks and a warehouse near Damascus International Airport and that it was probably the result of an Israeli strike.
It added that initial indications were that the blast had caused only material damage and not deaths.(Al Jazeera)
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