Syria blames Israel for explosions near Damascus airport

It was not clear if it was a missile or an air strike, they said.

Israeli strikes have hit an arms depot operated by the Lebanese Hezbollah group near Damascus airport, Syrian opposition sources said.

Syrian state TV quoted a military source saying rockets fired from Israeli territory targeted a military area in the southwestern part of the airport which caused explosions.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli military declined to comment on today's bombing run.

On Thursday Israel's intelligence minister said the incident near Damascus "absolutely matches our declared policy, a policy that we also implement", but stopped short of declaring Israel was responsible for the strike.

Israel's intelligence minister, Yisrael Katz appeared to confirm Israel was behind the attack.

Local Israeli reports indicate that the airport compound was hit with five strikes at around 3:25 am local time.

Since its foundation, Hezbollah has fought to annihilate the state of Israel.

Hezbollah, an ally of President Bashar al-Assad, is involved in the fighting in Syria's civil war.

Israel generally neither confirms nor denies involvement in such attacks.

Also, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 19 civilians, including nine children, were killed around the northern province.

Later Thursday, Israel's military said its Patriot missile defense system struck a drone that had entered Israeli airspace from Syria over the Golan Heights.

"The Syrian army and its allies will work to thwart the new Israeli plot on the occupied Golan border and will continue to destroy the enemy's collaborators", an anonymous Syrian military source told the Lebanese news site el-Nashra.

But last month, Israel said it had carried out several strikes near the Syrian desert city of Palmyra, targeting what it said were "advanced weapons" belonging to Hezbollah.

As well as weapons, hundreds of Shi'ite militia fighters from Iraq and Iran have been flown to Damascus global airport.

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.

  • Leroy Wright