Blasts heard near Damascus airport, Israeli airstrikes reported

Blasts heard near Damascus airport, Israeli airstrikes reported
Multiple blasts were heard near the Syrian capital Damascus on Saturday, (Sep. 15), causing large flames and loud explosions, local social media published videos online showing the moments following the blasts.  

Israel attacked Damascus International Airport with missiles Saturday night, the Assad regime’s news agency said, adding that air defenses shot down some of them, AP reported. 

Activists and monitoring groups said the attack targeted an arms depot for Iranian militias or Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia.

Explosions during the attack were heard across Damascus. The regime’s SANA posted pictures showing what appeared to be air defenses firing into the air.

Assad media quoted an unidentified military official as reporting the attack but gave no further details.

Israel’s Channel 2 reported that Israeli jets also hit weapon stores at the airport hangars.

The channel citing unnamed sources said the Israeli army declined to comment on the issue.

According to The Times of Israel, the strike attributed to Israel also reportedly targeted several weapons storage rooms at the airport. Efforts were made to disguise the true purpose of the buildings, the report said, with some of the warehouses labeled “United Nations” or “DHL,” in an apparent effort to evade Israeli intelligence-gathering efforts.

The weapons were supposed to be delivered to the Assad regime or its pro-Tehran allies, the report said. 

Earlier this month, an Israeli military official said Israel has struck over 200 Iranian targets in Syria over the past 18 months.

Israel is widely believed to have been behind a series of airstrikes mainly targeting Iranian and Hezbollah militias in Syria that have joined the country’s war fighting alongside the Assad regime. It rarely confirms the attacks.

US and Israeli officials have said that Iran and Hezbollah should end their armed presence in Syria. Israel says it is alarmed by the expansion of operations by Iran and Hezbollah in Syria.

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