Syria state media has reported that an Israeli missile strike created a huge explosion and subsequent fire at a Syria military site close to the international airport in Damascus.
The Sana news agency reported that warehouses and a fuel tank had been heavily damaged. However, sources with the Syrian rebels said that an arms depot operated by the Hezbollah group from Lebanon, which is an ally of the Syria government forces and fighting alongside them, was hit.
Israel said that the explosion has been consistent with the policy it has to prevent Iran from smuggling any weapons to the Hezbollah. However, it did not confirm that it had been responsible for the strike.
The UK based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said that the blast had been heard throughout the capital Thursday morning just after dawn and was believed to have taken place close to the main road leading to the airport.
Syria’s Sana said a number of missiles were fired at a site southwest of the international airport causing numerous explosions resulting in material losses.
Al-Mayadeen television which is pro-government cited its sources that said the missiles were from Israeli jets that were flying inside the Golan Heights, which is Israeli-occupied.
A pair of senior sources with the rebels based inside Damascus said the missiles hit a depot holding ammunition in an area restricted to just military used by militias that were Iran supported and fighting alongside government forces led by Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
Yisrael Katz the Intelligence Minister of Israel appeared to confirm involvement by Israel when he said he could confirm the incident had completely corresponded with the policy of Israel to act in prevention of Iran smuggling weapons through Syria to the Hezbollah.
Katz added that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said whenever intelligence is received that indicates an intention of the transfer of weapons to the Hezbollah, Israel will act.
Israel, which is considered by most behind Thursday’s missile strike, intends to keep its campaign against the Hezbollah being shipped weapons and it likely has some sort of understanding with those who rule in Moscow.
Russia has sophisticated air defenses over much of Syria’s airspace and a more than adequate capacity to cause interference with attacks by Israel if Moscow wished that.