Israeli missiles hit Syrian military position near Damascus airport

Syrian government has said that Israel has attacked a military installation near the Damascus International Airport today.

The Civil Defence, a search-and-rescue organisation, said four medical staff were killed in an attack on a university hospital in the town of Deir Sharqi, and four paramedics or ambulance operators died in an air strike on an ambulance services charity in another town, Maarzita.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed those strikes and vowed there would more if necessary.

Video carried on Lebanese TV and shared on social media sites showed the pre-dawn airstrikes caused a fire around the airport east of Damascus, suggesting fuel sources or weapons containing explosives were hit. It reported several explosions and material damage but no casualties. Three or four Iranian cargo planes were reported to have landed at the military air base near the Damascus International Airport only hours before the overnight airstrike that shook up the Syrian capitol.

Israel and Syria are still technically at war, though the armistice line had remained largely quiet for decades until 2011 when the Syrian conflict began.

Israel's Minister of Intelligence Israel Katz told Army Radio on Thursday morning that the strike on a target close to an airport in Damascus was consistent with Israeli policy regarding the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah.

"When we receive intelligence that points to the intention to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah, we will act".

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Hezbollah is an avowed enemy of Israel, and the two sides fought a monthlong war in 2006.

A large explosion near the global airport in Damascus shook the Syrian capital on Thursday in what state media said was an Israeli missile strike on a military installation. SANA did not say when the interview was recorded. Since the onset of the Syrian war, most worldwide airlines have ceased flights to Damascus.

However, there are other reports in Arab media that a senior Hezbollah commander and members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) were killed and another nine wounded in the attack.

The Syrian military said the attack was carried out by Israel and aimed to "raise the morale of terrorist groups" the government maintains are waging war against President Bashar Assad's forces.

Israeli officials want Russian Federation, which they see as holding the balance of power among Assad's supporters, to use its influence to help rein in Iran's activities in Syria. He also praised the US missile strike three weeks ago against a Syrian airbase: "It was important morally and strategically".

Speaking to Reuters in Washington on Wednesday, Intelligence Minister Katz said he was seeking an understanding with the Trump administration that Iran not be allowed to establish a permanent military foothold in Syria.

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