Reports of IDF strikes close to airport overnight surface from Arab media; Target was previously hit by IDF in April of this year; IDF refuses to comment on events. (Photo: CC), September 22, 2017.
As Israel celebrates Rosh Hashanah, Syrian and Arab media reported IDF airstrikes near the Damascus International Airport overnight.
The IDF was reported to have carried out strikes close to to the airport, likely thwarting an arms shipment from Syria to Hezbollah. A reported two missiles were used in the attacks. The target of the strikes was previously hit by Israel last April in IDF strikes on an attempted weapons transfer to Hezbollah.
Consistent with IDF strikes and covert operations in Syria and Lebanon, the IDF and Ministry of Defense did not confirm or deny the attacks.
The IDF’s last strikes in Syria occurred two weeks ago, Israel’s Air Force striking a chemical weapons factory in Syria. The strikes were carried out on Syria’s Scientific Studies Research Center (CERS) in Hama close to the town of Masyaf. The center is known for the development and production of biological and chemical weapons and missiles.
Former IDF Intelligence head, Amos Yadlin addressed last weeks strikes, stating that the attack was “not routine… It is a military-scientific Syrian site in which they produce, among other things, precision missiles, some of which will be significant in the next military campaign,” emphasizing that the factory struck manufactures “chemical weapons and explosives that have killed thousands of Syrian civilians. If it was an Israeli attack, it is finally an Israeli moral statement about the massacre in Syria.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu has been clear on the threat Syria and Iran place on the state of Israel as well as Israel’s “clear policy… We firmly oppose to the military buildup of Iran and its proxies, primarily Hezbollah, in Syria. And we will do whatever it takes to protect Israel’s security.”
Israel’s Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, stated following the last attacks carried out in Syria that that Israel “will not be spectators on the sidelines,” stating on Hezbollah and Iran in Syria, “Iran, through the Revolutionary Guards, is trying to create a new reality around us. The fact that Iran is trying to turn all of Syria into a forward outpost against Israel, with military bases, thousands of Shiite mercenaries brought from all over the Middle East, an airbase and a naval base and the attempts to set up precision weapons production facilities in Lebanon.”