Israeli jets strike near Damascus: Syria agency

Syria’s state-run news agency said Israel had committed an ‘aggression’ against Syria by ‘targeting two security areas in the outskirts of Damascus.’ (File photo: AFP)

Israeli warplanes launched air strikes against two security sites near Damascus on Sunday, including one near the capital’s international airport, Syria’s state-news agency reported.

The agency said Israel had committed an “aggression” against Syria by “targeting two security areas in the outskirts of Damascus.”

SANA said the two sites were in the town of Dimas, near Lebanon, and near Damascus’ International Airport, adding that there were no casualties.

Reports of the attack were earlier carried by Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television channel.

As on previous occasions, the Israeli military said it did not comment on "foreign reports."

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict, said one of the sites targeted, Dimas, was a military position.

A Twitter account operated by a Hezbollah-affiliated group called Mouqawama posted several pictures of what it alleged were the strikes on Dimas. It said Israeli warplanes launched at least 10 air strikes.

Dimas Hezbollah Syria Israel Twitter

Dimas Hezbollah Syria Israel Twitter

Dimas Syria Israel air strikes Twitter

Dimas Syria Israel air strikes Twitter

'Game-changing weapons'?

Israel is suspected of having carried out a series of air strikes on areas in and around Damascus since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad almost four years ago.

Nicholas Blanford, a long-time Beirut-based journalist and author of "Warriors of God,” a military history of Hezbollah, said Sunday’s was around the eighth reported strike on Syrian territory since January 2013 and that clearer details of the attack would likely emerge in the coming days.

“Usually we have the attack, there are accusations from the one side, the Israelis say nothing, within two or three days there are leaks in the American or Israeli press and that’s when we get to find out what they tried to hit,” he told Al Arabiya News.

Blanford said previous reported strikes had allegedly been against what the Israelis described as “potential game-changing weapons” such as air defense systems, advanced anti-aircraft missiles, anti-ship missiles or long-range surface-to-surface missiles.

Israel has vowed to prevent Iranian-backed Hezbollah from obtaining “game-changing” weapons that could disrupt the current balance of power.

“It’s still too soon to say and we will have to wait for the inevitable leaks to come out in the next few days but I think we can safely assume that whatever they hit [on Sunday] will probably fall into these categories,” Blanford said.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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