An Israeli security official confirmed Wednesday that Israel carried out an overnight airstrike in Syria, saying a series of Iranian targets were hit.
The official said the airstrike hit Iranian storage and logistic targets being used to transfer weapons to the Hezbollah terror group. The official said Israel also took out a Syrian anti-aircraft battery near Damascus that fired at the Israeli warplanes.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity under standard security protocols. The Israeli military has not commented on the incident.
Earlier Wednesday, Russia criticized the airstrikes, saying they had endangered civilian flights. The Israeli official said, however, that Israel alerted Russia about the airstrikes ahead of time.
Israel has previously confirmed carrying out scores of airstrikes in Syria, mostly believed to be aimed at suspected weapons shipments to Hezbollah.
“We will not abide an Iranian entrenchment in Syria,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also the defense minister, said at a graduation ceremony for fresh Israeli Air Force pilots at the Hatzerim air base in the south earlier Wednesday.
“We are taking action against it aggressively and powerfully, including in these very days,” he said.
According to Syrian state media, the strikes began around 10 p.m. Tuesday and were carried out by Israel from Lebanon. It said Syria’s air defenses opened fire on “enemy targets,” shooting them down.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, said Tuesday’s Israeli strike targeted three positions south of Damascus that are arms depots for Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group and Iranian forces.
Newsweek reported Wednesday morning that the alleged Israeli airstrike hit several senior Hezbollah officials as they boarded a plane bound for Iran, citing a US Defense Department source. The unnamed source told the magazine he had received the information from top Israeli military brass.
He said strategic Iranian munitions were also targeted, including advanced GPS components for weaponry.
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