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Israeli minister affirms policy of ‘stopping arms transfers to terrorists’

Israel has launched a series of strikes inside Syria since the armed uprising erupted there in 2011

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Israel stressed on Monday that it has a policy of preventing arms transfers to militant groups, a day after Syria accused Israel of bombing Damascus airport.

Israel has launched a series of strikes inside Syria since the armed uprising erupted there in 2011, including raids reportedly targeting weapons bound for Damascus ally Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz refused to comment directly on Sunday's incident, as was also the case with Israeli officials questioned in the aftermath of previous strikes.

Infographic: Syria-Israel attacks
Infographic: Syria-Israel attacks


"We have a firm policy of preventing all possible transfers of sophisticated weapons to terrorist organizations," Steinitz told public radio in response to a question about the strikes, and apparently referring to Hezbollah.

Over the past year, Israeli warplanes have reportedly raided a number of Syrian targets and positions of Shiite militant group Hezbollah, an ally of both Syria and Israel's arch-foe Iran.

On Sunday, Damascus accused Israel of carrying out air strikes against two government-held areas in Damascus province, including the capital's international airport.

It said the strikes caused damage but no casualties.

In March, Israeli aircraft attacked Syrian army positions just hours after a bomb wounded four Israeli soldiers on the Golan Heights, one severely.