It's the first time that Israel has ever announced strikes against Iran inside Syria and in real time.
Moments after a massive wave of rockets were fired on Damascus, activating Syrian anti-air defenses Sunday night, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced:
Sustained Israeli attack on Damascus overnight Sunday, via local Syrian sources.
The IDF has warned Syria not to respond, which appears to be unheeded as Israeli media is reporting that anti-air defenses have been activated by inbound Syrian rockets over northern Israel and the Golan Heights.
“The IDF warns the Syrian Armed Forces against attempting to harm Israeli territory or forces,” the army said in an exceedingly rare statement.
Signaling fears of a fresh attack on Israel, the army announced it would shutter the Mount Hermon ski resort on Monday. On Sunday, the popular site had remained open despite the missile attack nearby.
Bombings inflict heavy damage on weapons warehouses and military positions near airport and other areas, with casualties reported; Syria calls attack ‘heavy’
“The Israeli missiles managed to destroy weapons depots and military posts of the Iranians and the Lebanese Hezbollah in the vicinity of Damascus International Airport and the area of Al-Kiswah and Jamraya,” the Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights said.
The airstrike was the second attack on the airport and al-Kiswah in as many days, after a rare daytime attack attributed to Israel on Sunday morning. Both locations have been attacked by Israel in the past and are thought to house Iranian or Hezbollah assets.
“Warehouses containing weapons for Syrian regime ally Hezbollah and Iranian fighters are located in that area,” Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor, said Sunday.
The alleged strike Sunday came hours after a Syrian cargo plane touched down in the Damascus International Airport from Tehran, according to publicly available flight data. Israel and American defense officials have said these types of ostensibly civilian cargo planes are often used to transport advanced weaponry from Tehran to pro-Iranian militias, fighting in Syria, including the Hezbollah terror group.