Israel Strikes Hezbollah In Syria As Islamic State Suicide Bombers Attack The Shiite Group In Lebanon
On Wednesday evening, Syrian and Lebanese media reported new Israeli airstrikes near Damascus International Airport. A member of the Syrian opposition said that Israeli warplanes entered Syrian air space via the Qalamoun Mountains in the Lebanese border area. The Israeli jets flew above the airport in Damascus and carried out strikes on military outposts. The opposition activist added that the outposts belonged to Hezbollah.
A regime-affiliated news site reported heavy damage to the outposts that all went up in flames. Eyewitnesses described huge explosions and blasts that could be heard miles away.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) was less convinced that it was Israeli airplanes that carried out the strikes in the vicinity of Damascus Airport. The London-based group that has a vast network of citizen reporters in Syria said there was conflicting information whether the reported explosions were caused by airstrikes carried out by unidentified (Israeli) warplanes or by regime forces that targeted Islamist factions in the area.
SOHR pointed out that the strikes near the airport in Damascus coincided with a heavy barrage of aerial attacks with barrel bombs by Bashar al-Assad’s air force on the nearby city of Darayya, a suburb of Damascus where Islamic State has a foothold. SOHR reported at least 20 strikes with barrel bombs on Darayyah on Wednesday morning.
Israeli observers, however, maintain that the IAF was responsible for the attacks. They point to the fact that the strikes targeted Hezbollah weapons caches near the International Airport in Damascus, which Iran uses for weapon deliveries to Hezbollah. The same area has been targeted by Israeli airplanes in the past.