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"Israeli strike" hits military site near Damascus airport

"Israeli strike" hits military site near Damascus airport

The incident comes after Syria's official news agency reported that Israel struck a military compound outside Damascus International Airport.

Pro-government Al-Mayadeen TV cited sources as saying that missiles had been fired by Israeli jets flying inside the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

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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.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also declared in late March, "When we identify attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah and we have intelligence and it is operationally feasible, we act to prevent it".

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has refused to comment on the incident.

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Emanuele Ottolenghi, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who has tracked air traffic between Iran and Syria for years, said the planes were most likely delivering weapons. In practice, however, Hezbollah forces in Syria are focusing primarily on fighting against ISIS, which has led Syria to complain that the Israeli strikes are being done to assist ISIS.

Damascus International Airport is reportedly a major conduit of Iranian arms bound for Hezbollah in Syria. Hezbollah and Israel fought each other in the 2006 Lebanon War.

Syria accused Israel of air strikes on a Hezbollah-operated arms depot near the airport in Damascus.

Israeli media said residents in the northern Israeli town of Safed reported seeing two missiles being launched and of explosions occurring afterwards.

The Syrian aircraft's penetration of Israeli airspace could trigger another military strike from Israel.

It was not the first Israeli strike, as the Israelis have ramped up their airstrikes on military positions in Syria recently, targeting military base in Qunaitera province in southern Syria this week, as well as a military position near the ancient city of Palmyra last month.

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