While Israel remained silent about its role in an alleged air raid into Syria on Sunday near Damascus, Syrian opposition sources maintained that an Israeli attack destroyed a storage facility holding anti-aircraft missiles and drones belonging to Hezbollah, reports The Jerusalem Post. Al Jazeera coverage, however, managed to ignore any Hezbollah connection.
Hezbollah also had no comment on the attack. However, Israeli media quoted the Hezbollah-affiliated newspaper Al-Akhbar as saying that “the Israeli action was intended to preserve the rules of the game.”
According to that newspaper’s story, Israel struck weapons caches belonging to Hezbollah. These were allegedly sophisticated arms which would be capable of altering the strategic balance which currently allows Israel to operate freely in Lebanese skies.
This would not have been the first Israeli attack on Hezbollah-bound weapons being transported through Syria. The IAF has struck Syria several times in the past few years to destroy weaponry which could be used against Israel.
Syrian state television said that Israeli jets had bombed targets near the Damascus airport and in the town of Dimas near the Lebanese border. A Lebanese correspondent reported that Israel had struck at 10 important locations in Syria belonging to Iran.
The Jerusalem Post also reports that according to Al Arabiya, two Hezbollah militants were killed during the airstrikes. According to the report, among the dead is a senior Hezbollah military official.
Al-Jazeera, which in its coverage did not so much as mention any Hezbollah connection to Israeli motivation for a strike, or mention any military targets hit, reflected the Syrian spin on the alleged attacks.
It reported statements on state-owned TV reporting no casualties, but saying that “the Israeli enemy committed a heinous attack by targeting two peaceful areas in the Damascus countryside”.
Al Jazeera said the Syrian government issued a statement shortly after the attacks, saying the attacks were evidence that Israel was supporting “terrorists,” meaning anti-government forces, and that the strike benefited al Qaeda.