Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports Israeli warplanes carried out at least three sorties that targeted weapons depots and weapons intended for Hezbollah in Lebanon • Syria’s air defense system fails to intercept fighter jets.
Israeli fighter jets attacked a compound housing long-range missiles and other weapons near the Damascus International Airport around 2:30 a.m. on Friday, Syrian and Lebanese media reported over the weekend.
While Damascus and Hezbollah have yet to officially respond to the reports, unofficial sources in Syria were quoted as confirming the airstrikes. The sources said there were no casualties among Syrian forces from the attacks, but a number of warehouses inside the compound sustained considerable damage.
The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Israeli Air Force aircraft carried out at least three sorties from Lebanese air space that targeted weapons depots and weapons intended for transfer to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Syrian and Lebanese media outlets reported that the strikes, which were heard throughout Damascus, sparked fires inside the warehouses. There were also reports of secondary blasts as weapons caches inside the warehouses exploded.
Eyewitnesses said Syria’s aerial defense systems unsuccessfully launched at least one missile toward the aircraft. Syrian and Lebanese media outlets, however, claimed the system successfully intercepted an Israeli drone that took part in the attack. They said the unmanned aircraft crashed inside Syrian territory.
Just a few hours before the attack, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel and the United States against attacking Syria and Lebanon in a videotaped message delivered to Hezbollah supporters at a mass rally in the Hezbollah stronghold of Dahieh ahead of the Shiite holiday of Ashura. He said such an attack would be met with a fierce response from the terrorist group.
Israeli officials have declined to comment on the reports of the airstrike.
Earlier this month, the Syrian army reported an Israeli air strike on a military site in Syria’s Hama province.
Israel says it has hit arms convoys of the Syrian military and its Iranian-backed ally Hezbollah nearly 100 times in the past five years.
Israel, which fought a war with Hezbollah in 2006, sees the shipment of anti-aircraft missiles, precision ground-to-ground missiles and chemical weapons to the Shiite terrorist group as a red line.