Syrian media: Israel attacked installation near Damascus

"Al-Manar's correspondent reported that an explosion struck at dawn on Thursday hitting fuel tanks and a warehouse near Damascus International Airport and that it was probably the result of an Israeli strike", the channel said.

"A fire broke out in the area but the cause of the explosion is still unknown", Abdulrahman said. It said "Israeli aggression" had caused explosions and some material losses, but did not expand on the damage.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said it was consistent with his government's policy to prevent arms transfers to Hezbollah, but stopped short of confirming his country was behind any attack.

Israel is thought to have carried out about 30 airstrikes in Syria over the...

Israeli air strikes in March 2017 near Palmyra - deep within Syrian territory - are believed to have hit weapons destined for pro-Assad Shiite militias, according to reports from CNN. The Iranian-backed militia reported that three of its fighters were killed in the attack.

These include Hezbollah, a close ally of Tehran and enemy of Israel, which describes the group as the biggest threat it faces on its borders.

Alongside military planes, there are a number of commercial cargo aircraft that fly regularly from Iran to refurbish arms supplies quickly to Hezbollah and other groups.

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.

Alongside weapons, hundreds of Shi'ite militia fighters from Iraq and Iran are also flown into Syria from Damascus global airport. Intelligence sources put their numbers at 10,000 to 20,000 and say they play a significant role in military campaigns launched by the Syrian army.

Israel has sought to avoid being dragged into the six-year civil war in Syria, but acknowledges carrying out air strikes there to stop what it says are deliveries of advanced weapons to Hezbollah.

The Israeli intelligence minister said the blast was in line with his government's policy of preventing advanced weaponry from reaching Hezbollah.

On Wednesday, Israel's Defense Ministry said Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman had discussed the situation in Syria with Russia's Defense and Foreign Ministers during an global conference in Moscow.

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

  • Leroy Wright