Minister hints Israel behind strike on Syria airport


In the terminology of the Syrian regime, occupied territory can refer to Israel inside its internationally recognised borders.

The Syrian Army on Thursday said an Israeli missile targeted its military position near the worldwide airport here.

Israel said the explosion was "consistent" with its policy to prevent Iran smuggling weapons to Hezbollah but stopped short of claiming responsibility for the bombing.

Israel previously has been accused of firing on Hezbollah positions and Iran-backed arms shipments in Syria and Lebanon bound for terrorists.

But Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz, in an interview with Israel Army Radio, broadly hinted that Israel was involved.

"In my view, and I know it's also the view of the prime minister, it would be hard for us to say 'no, ' " Johnson said. It speculated the blast was likely caused by an Israeli strike.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman reiterated during a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday that Israel would not accept the creation of a new Iranian front in Syria.

Al-Manar said the strike caused only material damage.

According to Farzin Nadimi, a Washington-based analyst specializing in the security and defense affairs of Iran and the Persian Gulf region, "Iranian and Syrian airlines have hauled about 21,000 passengers between Tehran/Abadan and Damascus in the past two months alone, along with over 5,000 tons of supplies".

Israeli warplanes have hit the airport and other bases around the capital in the past, targeting what it said were weapons stockpiles of its foe Hezbollah.

The explosion "shook the Damascus International Airport area at dawn today".

The observatory group said sources thought the large explosion had occurred because ammunition depots, believed to be for the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, had been targeted.

As per the media of Israel, they were storing weapons for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

A military spokesperson confirmed in a statement that the Patriot system "intercepted a target above the Golan Heights" in northern Israel. Damascus airport was also hit by Israel in May 2013.

The Civil Defense, a search-and-rescue organization, says four medical staff were killed in an attack on a university hospital in Deir Sharqi, and another four paramedics or ambulance operators were killed in a strike on an ambulance services charity in Maarzita.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the Golan from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the global community.