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25 Jun, 2018 23:30

‘2 Israeli missiles’ strike near Damascus airport – Syrian state media

‘2 Israeli missiles’ strike near Damascus airport – Syrian state media

Two missiles have reportedly landed in the vicinity of Damascus International Airport, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency.

It was not immediately clear if the missiles were intercepted or if they hit their intended target. There were also no immediate reports of any damage or casualties. Besides pinning the blame on Israel, Syrian state TV provided no further details on the alleged strike that took place on Monday night.

Damascus has repeatedly accused Israel of de-facto helping the terrorists and boosting their morale every time they lose ground to the Syrian government forces. Meanwhile, Israel, which rarely admits to its operations in Syria, maintains its right to intervene whenever it deems it necessary to thwart Iran’s growing influence and prevent the potential transfer of weapons to Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Just on Sunday, the Israeli Defense Forces launched a US Patriot missile at a drone allegedly coming towards the Israeli border from Syria. A pro-Damascus commander, however, said the unmanned aerial vehicle that was engaged in operations in southern Syria never intended to cross into Israel and managed to retreat without being hit.

Israel has intensified its bombing of military infrastructure in Syria over the last couple of months, arguing that the Iranian presence in the Arab Republic jeopardizes its own national security. In April, Israeli F-15 fighters reportedly targeted Syria’s T-4 airbase in Homs province, while last month the IAF fired missiles at Iranian targets near Damascus. While the IDF does not comment on every engagement on its neighbor's territory, previously acknowledged targets by Israel in Syria included weapons storage facilities, logistics sites, and intelligence centers, which Tel Aviv believes are used by Iran and its Hezbollah allies on the ground.

Damascus repeatedly denied that the Iranian military has any significant presence in Syria, besides military advisers. Instead, the country’s leadership sees the Israeli actions as a cynical violation of sovereignty. To tackle the Israeli “aggression,” the Syrian president vowed to continue building up the country’s air defenses.

“The Israelis have been assassinating, killing, occupying for decades now, for around seven decades, in this region, but usually they do all this without threatening,” Bashar Assad told RT in an exclusive interview last month after some Israeli politicians threatened to “liquidate” him and topple his government if Iran continues to operate in Syria. “Now, why do they threaten in this way? This is panic, this is a kind of hysterical feeling because they are losing the ‘dear ones,’ the dear ones Al-Nusra and ISIS, that’s why Israel is panicking recently, and we understand their feeling.”

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