Syrian Media Claims Israeli Planes Hit Targets in Damascus

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Syrian state media are reporting that Israeli warplanes struck targets near the Damascus airport at around 6:00 PM Wednesday evening, in an operation similar to a purported attack against a weapons convoy in Syria two weeks ago.

Although Israeli Defense Force officials declined to comment on these reports, the Jerusalem Post notes that Israel has previously announced “a strict policy of intolerance towards threats to the state, such as weapons transfers between Syria and Lebanon.”

The alleged Israeli strike on October 31 targeted Hezbollah, including a weapons convoy near the Lebanon-Syria border, intended to supply Lebanese Hezbollah fighters entering Syria to fight on dictator Bashar Assad’s behalf, on orders from Iran. Some Syrian activists also say this earlier attack destroyed a missile base operated by the Syrian regime, wiping out an inventory of Scud missiles.

If the Wednesday strike did indeed occur, it is not clear if the target was another weapons shipment or, as the Jerusalem Post suggests, “an alternate target such as an Iran-backed terror cell operating against Israel.” However, Syrian opposition groups quoted on Israeli television said the target was a Hezbollah weapons shipment.

There have been other possible Israeli airstrikes against Hezbollah and pro-Syrian Palestinian militia targets in Syria, but this would make only the second such action since Russia began its air campaign in support of Assad.

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