Film footage claiming to show Israeli fighter jets in Syrian airspace has led credence to Syrian government claims that Israel was behind a bombing raid near the Lebanese border.
While Israeli officials adhered to a policy of silence and remained tight-lipped, a Syrian army spokesman said: “The Israeli enemy targeted two safe areas in Damascus province, the Dimas area and the Damascus International Airport.”
Syria’s state news agency, SANA, added that “the Israeli enemy’s sinful aggression” caused no casualties.
The two “safe areas” referred to by the army are military sites, according to Rami Abdelrhaman, from the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, who said there were two explosions.
“One hit the import and export section of the international airport,” he said. “The explosions appear to target military sites, most likely belonging to the 4th Division.”
Israel has repeatedly launched aerial raids on Syrian targets in recent years, and each time analysts assume that the targets were weapons headed for Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz suggested as much this week, when he confirmed on Monday that it was Israel’s policy to prevent advanced weaponry making its way into the hands of terrorists.
Hezbollah is known to have a significant stockpile of weapons, and last week the issue again came to the fore, when a visiting commander from the Iranian military said the group’s missiles could “raze Israel to the ground”.
On Sunday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah also met Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov, to discuss Russian arms to be delivered to the group, ostensibly to fight jihadists in neighbouring Syria.