Blast followed by fire reported near Damascus airport

Posted May 07, 2017

The residents of the area said flames could be seen far from distance.

Israeli jets likely took out a Hezbollah weapons depot near Damascus International Airport, Reuters reports.

Russia, whose forces are helping President Bashar al-Assad fight Islamic State and other militant groups, regularly says it is the only foreign power operating on Syrian territory at the Syrian government's invitation and has spoken out strongly against Turkish strikes as well as a recent USA strike.

An Israeli missile strike has caused a large explosion and fire at a military site near Damascus worldwide airport, Syrian state media report, according to BBC News. The missiles caused explosions and material losses, state TV said. Israeli forces have on multiple occasions used airstrikes or other attacks to stop such moves, with the military often declining to confirm it was responsible for the strikes.

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'The prime minister has said that whenever we receive intelligence that indicated an intention to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah, we will act'.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman confirmed earlier this year that Israel had previously conducted various operations in Syria, though he did not specify when, explaining that Israel is "trying to prevent the smuggling of advanced weapons, military equipment and weapons of mass destruction from Syria to Hezbollah" and "working, first and foremost, to defend the safety of our citizens and to protect our sovereignty".

When pushed by the interviewer that this was a claim of responsibility for the attack, Katz said: "I did not say that, I said what I said".

Israel would not officially comment on whether it had carried out the strike.

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

It was initially unclear whether the target, which media said was an unmanned drone, was shot down over Syria or Israeli-controlled territory.

18 January 2015: Six Hezbollah fighters and several Iranian soldiers, including a general, die in suspected Israeli air strikes in Syria's Golan Heights region.

Last month, Syria fired anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli military jets.

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"It's natural that we should have such systems", he said, quoted by Syria's official SANA agency on Thursday, the same day as Damascus accused Israel of firing several missiles at a military position near its worldwide airport.