Tension Mounts as Syrian drone intercepted over Golan following Israeli bombing in Damascus airport

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A Patriot anti-ballistic missile intercepts a drone that had infiltrated from Syria

Ynet news

A Patriot anti-ballistic missile stationed in the north of the country intercepted an unmanned aerial vehicle that infiltrated Israel from Syria on Thursday evening.

IDF spokesperson confirms: “A Patriot anti-ballistic missile was launched a few minutes ago toward a target in the Golan Heights.”

Thursday morning it was reported that Israel launched an overnight attack targeting a Hezbollah weapons depot in the Damascus International Airport. According to reports, the chain of explosions rocked the Syrian capital at about 3:20am.

The depot handles a significant amount of weapons that Tehran, a major regional ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, sends regularly by air, the source said, without giving further details.

The source said the arms depot gets a major part of the weapons supplied to an array of Iranian backed militias, led by Hezbollah, which have thousands of fighters engaged in some of the toughest fronts against Syrian rebels.

Officials on both sides of the Syrian conflict—among opposition forces and among forces fighting alongside President Bashar Assad—attributed the attack to Israel.

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Report: Israel attacked Iranian arms depot near Damascus airport
IAF allegedly attacks early Thursday morning possibly game-changing weapons meant for Hezbollah and other pro-Iranian militias fighting in Syria. At least five explosions reported.

According to various reports, a series of explosions at fuel tanks and warehouses near the airport rocked eastern Damascus at around 3:20am.

Regular supplies of weapons from Tehran are sent by commercial and military cargo planes through the arms supply hub, which is operated by Hezbollah, Reuters cited a regional intelligence source as saying. The depot handles a significant amount of weapons that Tehran, a major regional ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, sends regularly by air, the source said, without giving further details.

The source said the arms depot gets a major part of the weapons supplied to an array of Iranian backed militias, led by Hezbollah, which have thousands of fighters engaged in some of the toughest fronts against Syrian rebels.

Israel’s Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said such a strike would be in line with Israeli policy but stopped short of taking responsibility for it. Katz wouldn’t comment directly on the strike Thursday morning but said “it absolutely matches our declared policy, a policy that we also implement.”
Israel has repeatedly warned against “game-changing” weapons reaching Hezbollah from Syria, which along with Iran supports the militant group. Hezbollah fired more than 4,000 rockets on Israel in the 2006 war. While Israel has been largely unaffected by the Syrian civil war, it has carried out a number of airstrikes on suspected weapon convoys it believed were destined for Hezbollah.

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Golan tension: Pro-Iran troops move on Quneitra

Debka File

Early Thursday, April 26, a mixed Syrian-Iranian-Hizballah force embarked on a general offensive in southern Syria ready for a leap on Israel’s Golan border. They moved forward in the face of Israeli warnings that were relayed from Moscow to Tehran and Hizballah.

This latest warning was issued by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is visiting the Russian capital this week to attend an international security conference. After meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Gen. Sergey Shogun, the Israeli minister stated clearly on Wednesday: “Israel will not allow the concentration of Iranian and Hizballah forces on its Golan border.”

By Thursday morning, it was evident that a decision had been taken in Moscow, Tehran, Damascus and Beirut to ignore Lieberman’s warning.

debkafile’s military sources report that early Thursday, Shiite militias under the command of Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers, alongside Hizballah troops, organized as the Southern Shield Brigade, launched their offensive at Mt. Hermon southwest of Damascus, on their way to the Syrian-Israeli Golan border in the region of Quneitra. The Syrian contingents taking part in this push are the Syrian army’s elite 42nd Brigade and elements of the 4th Mechanized Division.

Their first objective is to capture a string of villages held by Syrian rebel groups in the region of Hadar on the Hermon slopes. They are advancing towards the Golan along the Beit Jinn route.

There is no word yet on whether the warning issued by the defense minister from Moscow has produced a direct Israeli response to the provocation. Very possibly the five explosions and ball of fire they set off at Damascus international airport Thursday morning may prove to be connected to that response.