Thursday, November 29, 2018

Pro-Iranian Militia Bases And Iranian Weapons Sites In Syria Targeted By Israeli Airstrikes, U.S.: Seized Weapons Show Iran Is Regional Threat

Israel reportedly strikes pro-Iranian militia sites in Syria

A number of pro-Iranian militia bases and Iranian weapons caches in southern Syria were targeted by Israeli airstrikes on Thursday night, according to the Al-Arabiya news site.
Explosions were also reported in and around the Syrian capital of Damascus, near its international airport, which Israel claims has been used by Iran to supply terror groups with advanced weaponry.
According to the Kremlin-backed Sputnik new site, blasts were also heard near the town of al-Dimas, along the Damascus-Beirut highway, which may indicate that an arms shipment was targeted in the alleged Israeli strikes.

“Israeli forces bombarded for an hour positions in the southern and southwestern suburbs of Damascus as well as in the south of Syria at the border of Quneitra province,” the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The Israel Defense Forces refused to comment on Thursday night’s reported airstrikes, but denied a Russian media claim that an Israeli plane had been shot down.
“The reports of an Israeli aircraft or other Israeli aerial platform being hit are false,” the army said in a statement.
The IDF said it was investigating reports of a projectile landing inside Israeli territory, on the Golan Heights, potentially the remnants of a Syrian surface-to-air missile.
“An aerial defense system identified a single launch toward an open field on the Golan Heights. At this point it is not clear if there was indeed an impact in our territory. Troops are searching the area,” the army said.
Syrian state television aired footage of interceptor missiles being fired into the air south of Damascus.

US officials on Thursday displayed military equipment they said confirms that Iran is increasingly supplying weapons to militants across the Middle East and is continuing its missile program unabated.
At a military hangar in Washington, Brian Hook, the US special representative for Iran, showed reporters a collection of guns, rockets, drones and other gear. Some of these had been intercepted in the Strait of Hormuz en route to Shia fighters in the region while others had been seized by the Saudis in Yemen, the Pentagon said.
Hook showed images of a Sayyad-2 surface-to-air missiles with the words “The Hunter Missile” in Farsi on its side, which he said was intercepted in Yemen by Saudi Arabia this year.
The advanced weapon, Hook said, was exported to aid the Houthi rebels, marking a violation of a UN resolution ban on exporting weaponry to the besieged country.

“The conspicuous Farsi markings are Iran’s way of saying they don’t mind being caught violating US resolutions,” Hook said. He added that the material shows Tehran’s “relentless commitment to put even more weapons into even more of hands of even more of its proxies.”
Hook also showed reporters a display that included anti-tank missile systems that Iran was exporting to Yemen and Afghanistan, which he said revealed that the Islamic Republic’s intention to “undermine regional instability has expanded.”
The US special envoy recently returned from a trip to the Middle East, when he visited Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
According to an Axios report, Israeli officials told him in meetings they were incensed that the International Atomic Energy Agency was not looking into findings Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released over the summer that revealed the extent to which Iran has tried to build a nuclear arsenal.

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