State-owned media in Syria accused Israel of firing two missiles at Damascus International Airport overnight between Monday and Tuesday, a short while after a cargo plane unloaded a shipment that had been loaded in Tehran. Foreign media reported that the missiles were reportedly fired from Israeli territory and targeted a shipment of weapons intended for Hezbollah.
Rami Abdel Rahman, a spokesman for the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights watchdog said the 1 am strike “failed to cause large explosions” and that Syrian air defense batteries “failed to intercept the missiles.”
Israeli officials from across the political spectrum have consistently warned of a growing Iranian military presence in Syria, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman have repeatedly warned that Israel would not allow Iran to establish a permanent military presence along the eastern and north-eastern borders.
To that end, the attack was the latest strike attributed to Israel intended to prevent advanced weapons from reaching the Lebanese terror group and to prevent further entrenchment of Iran-linked forces in Syria as the civil war there appears to be drawing to a close. In recent weeks, forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have taken control of thousands of square kilometres of territory in the western part of the country, including an abandoned UN post near the Israeli border on the Golan Heights.
The post, which was previously manned by United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) forces charged with enforcing a no-mans land in the area, was part of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Syria at the conclusion of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
The IDF Spokesman’s Unit said in a statement that the army is “fully aware of developments, and views [the takeover of the site and] the infrastructure work at the post as a serious and flagrant violation of the ceasefire agreement.”