Israel launched a pre-dawn airstrike on a military arms depot near the Damascus International Airport in Syria, the Voice of America reports.
The weapons supply belonged to Hezbollah, which has received stockpiles of missiles and munitions from Iran over the last several years, spiking recently as Hezbollah has been an active participant in the Syrian Civil War. The weapons have been delivered secretly, disguised as cargo aboard commercial airline flights.
Russia has called on Israel to show restraint following these latest strikes. “All countries need to refrain from any kind of actions that lead to an increase in tension in this already restive region,” said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin.
— WorldOnAlert (@worldonalert) April 27, 2017
Typically, such military actions are not confirmed or commented on by the Israeli military, as is the case now. Israel has however taken responsibility for certain strikes, notably on March 17th of this year when the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) destroyed “100 Syrian missiles” bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon, in the process becoming engaged by a Syrian anti-aircraft missile. No Israeli jets were downed in that action, which has been disputed by the Syrian government.
Israeli official policy is to not allow certain sophisticated weapons systems into Hezbollah hands in Lebanon. While it would not claim responsibility for the early morning attack near the Damascus airport, the IDF said such a strike is “consistent” with this policy.
The IDF has taken active measures inside Syria for years to engage Hezbollah targets. Hezbollah has been fighting openly on behalf of the Assad regime since 2013, and has reportedly lost hundreds of militants in the fighting. Hezbollah and Israel fought an inconclusive war in 2006, and since then both sides have been gearing up for an eventual continuation of hostilities. Hezbollah has reportedly received thousands more missiles and rockets from Iran in the nearly 11 years since that conflict ended.
Featured courtesy of The Telegraph