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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

Israel hits Hezbollah arms depots in Syria, war monitor says

Two missiles came down near Damascus International Airport, Syria's state media reports

Syrian air defence missiles seen in the sky over Damascus in response to Israeli strikes. EPA
Syrian air defence missiles seen in the sky over Damascus in response to Israeli strikes. EPA

Israel attacked Hezbollah arms depots near Damascus International Airport with missiles, a UK-based monitor said on Tuesday.

Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP that “Israeli missiles hit arms depots for Hezbollah near the airport” after Syria’s state media reported that two missiles came down in the area. It did not add any details.

Mr Abdel Rahman said that the strike took place at 1am local time “without causing huge explosions”, despite hitting weapons caches, adding that the Syrian air defence “failed to intercept the missiles”.

Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Lebanese militia, has been fighting in a number of Arab countries, including Syria, where it was one of the earliest and most significant backers of President Bashar Al Assad.

Read more: Eight Hezbollah fighters killed in Yemen

Israel has warned of a growing Iranian military presence in neighbouring Syria, which it sees as a threat to its safety.

Its military has been carrying out strikes on Iranian and Iran-affiliated targets in Syria. A US official said it was Israeli forces that attacked an Iraqi paramilitary base in eastern Syria on June 17.

Israeli seized a large swath of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it, in a move never recognised by the international community.