Israeli jets have reportedly bombed close to the international airport in Damascus in the third attack by the Israeli military on targets associated with the Lebanese group Hezbollah in as many weeks, reported The Guardian.
According to social media reports on sites associated with the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, Israeli planes fired at least two missiles from outside Syrian airspace hitting either a weapons depot or a convoy.
The Facebook page of the National Guard for the Defence of the Homeland, allied with the Syrian military, reported that “an area near the Damascus international airport was attacked by a hostile missile” while images showed a fire burning in the early hours of Friday morning.
The Lebanese television station al-Mayadeen also reported the attack.
The latest airstrikes mark a recent increase in tempo of Israeli interventions which have coincided with diplomatic warnings by the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that his country will not accept an enhanced Iranian and Hezbollah presence on Israel’s northern borders.
While there have been many attacks attributed to Israel in the area around Damascus international airport – where there are arms depots associated with weapons Israel says are being supplied by Iran to Hezbollah – the issue has become more pressing in recent months as it has become clear that the Assad regime is winning on the battlefield backed by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.
Israel has made clear that it is deeply concerned by a “day after” scenario involving an expanded Iranian and Hezbollah presence to its north.
The latest reported attack comes only days following Israel’s shooting down of an Iranian-made drone operated by Hezbollah after it entered the demilitarised zone along the border between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights, and two weeks ago after Israeli warplanes struck a base associated with Syria’s chemical weapons production.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors Syria’s civil war, said the attack earlier this month was on a facility of the Scientific Studies and Research Centre, an agency which the US describes as Syria’s chemical weapons manufacturer.
An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment on the reports of the airstrike, saying: “We do not respond to such reports.” Israel, which fought a 2006 war with Hezbollah, sees red lines in the shipment to the powerful Shia group of anti-aircraft missiles, precision ground-to-ground missiles and chemical weapons.
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