Iranian weapons allegedly targeted by Israeli missile strikes in Syria
Handout / STR (CENTRAL WAR MEDIA/AFP)
Israel allegedly conducted missile strikes on Iranian weapons and storage facilities Damascus's airport on Saturday night.
The strikes reportedly targeted an Iranian plane delivering weapons for Revolutionary Guard units and pro-regime forces in Syria, according to Israeli channel Hadashot on Sunday.
The news report claims the target was an Iranian Boeing cargo plane filled with weapons that had recently flown from Tehran and landed at Damascus International Airport.
The strike also reportedly targeted a row of hangars inside the airport. Airport facilities which were used for Iranian cargo had allegedly been disguised. “United Nations” and “DHL” were spray painted onto the roofs of the warehouses, in an apparent attempt to evade Israeli intelligence-gathering efforts. Evidently, the sophisticated attempts did not prove successful.
Syrian media sources also reported that Russian-made S-200 air defense systems were destroyed by the missiles.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated that the target of the strikes was an arms depot near the airport which was storing recently arrived weapons destined for Iranian or Hezbollah forces, the Times of Israel reported.
No casualties have been reported at this point, but the Observatory said there was substantial damage incurred to the airport facilities.
On Saturday night, Syrian state news agency SANA reported that the Israeli missile attack targeting the capital’s airport activated air defenses which shot down a number of projectiles.
The agency, without giving any immediate report of casualties or damage, posted footage of the air defenses being activated.
In the shaky video, a small, bright explosion is seen in the night sky.
AFP's correspondent in Damascus heard a loud blast, followed by several smaller explosions.
In Jerusalem, the Israeli military declined to comment on the incident.
Earlier this month, Israel’s Defense Forces said it carried out more than 200 airstrikes in Syria over the last year, many of which Israel claimed were targeting Iranian positions and weapons convoys.
Israel has fired more than 800 missiles and mortar shells at targets in Syrian territory over the last year and a half, according to the statement.
Syria often attributes airstrikes on military bases to Israel, but the Jewish state only rarely confirms such strikes.
However, Israel admitted in May that it was behind the April 9 attack on an Iranian T-4 airbase in Syria. The Israeli army gave a more detailed description of the target, saying the strike was aimed at a shipment of advanced air defense weapons, which included one with a range of 110 kilometers.
The Israeli army also confirmed that it launched an extensive campaign of retaliatory strikes on Iranian-operated bases in Syria in May, responding to a barrage of rockets and missiles fired by Iran towards the Israeli part of the Golan Heights only hours before.
Syrian state media last reported Israeli strikes on September 4, when it said its air defenses downed several missiles in the coastal province of Tartus and in central Hama.
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