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Hezbollah Officials, Advanced Missile Parts Targeted in Reported Israeli Airstrikes on Damascus

Airstrikes, attributed to Israel, targeted some officials of Hezbollah, as well as a shipment of GPS components that would make the terrorist group’s arsenal more accurate, Ynet reported Wednesday.

Based on a report in Newsweek citing an unnamed senior Israeli military officer, Ynet reported that there were several airstrikes around the Damascus airport targeting arms depots and that the Hezbollah officials had just boarded a plane when it was struck.

Newsweek’s source also said that Israelis had targeted advanced GPS components that would have allowed Hezbollah to transform rockets in its arsenal into precision-guided missiles, making them more of a threat to Israel.

Three weeks ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that despite Hezbollah’s efforts to upgrade the accuracy of its rocket arsenal, Israeli efforts had managed to limit the terrorist group to just “a few dozen,” rather than the thousands that Hezbollah Chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah intended.

According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the reported Israeli airstrikes targeted three weapons depots in Damascus and injured three Syrian soldiers.

On Tuesday, a Fars Air Qeshm 747 flew from Tehran to Damascus, reportedly to transfer soldiers and arms to Syria, landing at the Damascus International Airport 7:45 in the evening. The airline is associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Russia’s Defense Ministry condemned the airstrikes against Damascus International Airport as “provocative.”

Igor Konashenko, spokesman for Russia’s Defense Ministry, said that the attack, which he attributed to Israel F-16s, “endangered two passenger jets,” The Jerusalem Post reported.

Airstrikes in Syria that are attributed to Israel had stopped after the downing of a Russian plane in the wake of one such strike this past September. While Russia blamed Israel for the loss of the plane and its crew, Israel maintained that it was the indiscriminate fire of the Syrian anti-aircraft teams that led to the shootdown. According to the IDF, the Israeli planes had already returned to Israeli airspace when the Russian plane was downed.

Earlier this month, Netanyahu said that Israel would continue its efforts to fight Hezbollah’s and Iran’s influence in Syria despite the lingering tensions with Russia over the downing of the plane.

“I told President Putin that we are continuing our policy: We will not allow Iran to establish a military presence in Syria,” Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting two weeks ago. “We will continue to take action against the precision weapons in Lebanon, and we will complete the operation to foil the tunnel threat.”

[Photo: Amichai Stein / Twitter]