Hezbollah has accused Israel of bombing Damascus Airport in the early hours of Thursday morning in an airstrike believed to have been targeting a major Iranian arms shipment.
The Sana news agency said a fuel tank and warehouse were destroyed as Hezbollah’s media channel Al-Manar pointed the finger at Israeli warplanes.
Israel’s Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said it would be in-line with Israeli policy of targeting weapons transfers to the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah, which has been fighting Sunni rebels alongside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
However, Katz refused to claim responsibility for the attack, saying: “I can confirm that the incident in Syria corresponds completely with Israel’s policy to act to prevent Iran’s smuggling of advanced weapons via Syria to Hezbollah in Iran. Naturally, I don’t want to elaborate on this.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, said powerful blasts were heard near the main road leading to the airport, while Sana said several missiles had been fired at a military site south-west of the airport, causing explosions.
Photos of a major blaze posted to social media sites appear to confirm the suspicion that either a fuel storage unit or explosive weapons dump were hit. Reuters quoted two senior rebel leaders as saying that five strikes hit an ammunition depot used by Iranian-backed militias.
Pro-government Al-Mayadeen TV said the missiles had been fired by Israeli jets flying above the Golan Heights. The weapons are believed to have been transported through the airport via commercial and cargo planes.