Ne­tanyahu con­firms Is­raeli strike on Iran tar­get in Syria

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - FRONT PAGE -

OC­CU­PIED JERUSALEM: Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu said Sun­day that Is­rael had at the week­end car­ried out an airstrike on Ira­nian weapons in Syria, a rare pub­lic con­fir­ma­tion of such at­tacks.

“Just in the last 36 hours the air force at­tacked Ira­nian ware­houses con­tain­ing Ira­nian weapons in the Da­m­as­cus in­ter­na­tional air­port,” Ne­tanyahu said at the start of a Cab­i­net meet­ing, ac­cord­ing to his of­fice.

“The ac­cu­mu­la­tion of re­cent at­tacks shows that we’re more de­ter­mined than ever to act against Iran in Syria, just as we promised.”

Ne­tanyahu added that Is­rael had at­tacked Ira­nian and Hezbol­lah tar­gets in Syria hun­dreds of times.

Is­rael has pledged to pre­vent its en­emy Iran from en­trench­ing it­self mil­i­tar­ily in Syria, where it is back­ing Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad’s regime along­side Rus­sia and Hezbol­lah.

It rarely pub­licly con­firms such strikes, though out­go­ing mil­i­tary chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot has spo­ken of them in re­cent in­ter­views.

Eisenkot told the New York Times that “we struck thou­sands of tar­gets with­out claim­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity or ask­ing for credit.”

Ne­tanyahu is also fac­ing April 9 elec­tions in Is­rael and has been seek­ing to bur­nish his se­cu­rity cre­den­tials.

The strike Ne­tanyahu was re­fer­ring to oc­curred Fri­day night.

Syr­ian state news agency SANA cited a mil­i­tary source say­ing Fri­day night that Syr­ian air de­fenses had shot down Is­raeli mis­siles, but a ware­house had been hit.

Most of the mis­siles fired by “Is­raeli mil­i­tary planes” were in­ter­cepted at around 11 p.m., the source said.

“Only a Trans­port Min­istry ware­house at Da­m­as­cus in­ter­na­tional air­port was hit,” SANA cited the mil­i­tary source as say­ing.

The Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights said “two ar­eas host­ing mil­i­tary po­si­tions of Ira­nian forces and the Hezbol­lah have been tar­geted.” They were near the air­port and around the Kisweh area south of Da­m­as­cus, the Bri­tain­based Ob­ser­va­tory said. –

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