Israeli strikes reported on Saturday night targeting recent Iranian shipment and arms depot; Syrian army missile defense activated; IDF refuses to comment on reports.
Syrian media reported Israeli strikes close to the Damascus international airport on Saturday night.
Syrian army missile defense systems responded to the attacks, reportedly downing Israeli missiles. According to Syrian state media, SANA, Syrian air defenses “responded to an Israeli missile attack on Damascus international airport and shot down a number of hostile missiles.” Reports from Lebanon of Israeli drones in its airspace surfaced shortly after.
The strikes targeted an Iranian arms depot as well as a recent Iranian weapons shipment to Syria.
As with most covert operations in Syria, the IDF refused to comment on the reports. The last reported IDF strikes in Syria were two weekends ago. Several blasts were reported at an ammunition storage facility at the Mazzeh military airbase. The location was previously hit in IDF strikes in 2017 and 2016.
Last week, new information surfaced that Iran has been smuggling arms and missile components to Hezbollah in Lebanon using a civilian airline. Two recent Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah on Fars Air Qeshm flights on a Boeing 747, one in July and one on August 2, were confirmed. The flights, from Tehran to Beirut, had unusual routes that were reported by a “regional source”. The shipments reportedly included missile components and arms.
Prior, Iran attempted to deploy missiles to Syria, but were detected and moved the missiles to Iraq.
Israel has been clear that it will defend itself from Iran’s efforts in Syria, and that weapons and arms transfer are a red line for the IDF.
Be sure to watch Amir’s most recent Middle East Current Events Update on developments in Syria and the region.