Iranian Defense Minister Believes Israel Should Be 'Completely Disarmed'

Hezbollah-linked Al-Manar TV channel said the dawn raid struck fuel tanks and a warehouse near Damascus International Airport and that it was probably the result of an Israeli strike.

An Israeli Patriot missile intercepted a Syrian unmanned aircraft that entered Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights on Thursday evening, the Israel Defense Forces said, following reports of an attack in Damascus attributed by Syria to Israel.

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

The Hezbollah Shi'ite militia is a key ally to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz, speaking from the United States, where he has been meeting USA officials, to Israeli Army Radio: "I can confirm that the incident in Syria corresponds completely with Israel's policy to act to prevent Iran's smuggling of advanced weapons via Syria to Hezbollah in Iran".

The Intelligence Minister of Israel, Yisrael Katz, was quoted by NYTimes, saying, the attack was launched to not to allow Hezbollah group obtain access to such weapons.

Earlier in the day, a large explosion was reported near the global airport in Damascus.

Explosions were also reported in the Al-Mazzeh area of the Syrian capital, apparently at the Mazzeh Air Base, a military airstrip used by regime forces.

On March 18, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surprisingly admitted to a series of the attacks by the regime, which had hit several targets near the ancient city of Palmyra in the central part of the Arab country the previous day.

Other Israeli leaders have said that Hezbollah receiving game-changing weapons, such as advanced missiles or chemical weapons, represents a "red line" that Israel will not accept.

"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. Katz however did not confirm Israel was behind it.

Hezbollah, considered by Israel a terrorist organization, was established in the 1980s in Lebanon.

In a sign of the heightened tensions surrounding a conflict that has already caught up regional and worldwide powers, Damascus' ally Russian Federation criticised the Israeli strike and said Syrian sovereignty should be respected.

In 2013, the Conservative prime minister at the time, David Cameron, was unable to muster votes in Parliament to approve strikes against the Assad government meant to deter the use of chemical weapons.



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