Syria says Israeli missile strike near Damascus airport confirmed

Israeli minister Yisrael Katz said the attack matched Israel's policy of not allowing sophisticated weapons to reach Hezbollah.

Bashar Assad (photo credit: REUTERS)
Bashar Assad
(photo credit: REUTERS)
BEIRUT - Several Israeli missiles hit a Syrian military position southwest of Damascus airport at dawn on Thursday, Syrian state media said.
The "Israeli aggression" resulted in explosions at the site and some material losses, it said, citing a military source.
Meanwhile, a senior Syrian official threatened that his country would respond to the alleged Israeli strike on a Hezbollah-operated weapons hub near the Damascus airport.
"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," the Syrian military source speaking on condition of anonymity told Lebanese news site el-Nashra.
The Syrian source further claimed that the early morning strike near Damascus had been launched from Israel's Golan Heights. He added that projectile had hit fuel tanks and caused damage, however the airport had not sustained damage.
Earlier in the day,  Syrian rebel and regional sources said the purported Israeli strike hit the site where regular supplies of weapons from Tehran are sent by commercial and military cargo planes.
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 who requested anonymity said, without giving further details.
Israel completes advanced testing of mid-range missile interceptor designed to defend against Hezbollah‏ (credit: REUTERS)
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.
A spokeswoman for the Israeli military, asked if Israel had been involved in carrying out air strikes targeting Damascus airport, said: "We can't comment on such reports."
Jerusalem has a policy of neither confirming or denying strikes attributed to it in Syria, but in an interview to Army Radio, Israel's Intelligence Affairs Minister Yisrael Katz said the attack matched Israel's policy of not allowing sophisticated weapons to reach Hezbollah. 
The strike came just days after Al Jazeera reported that the IDF struck a base belonging to a pro-Syrian militia near Quneitra.
In a statement released by the National Defense Forces, a pro-regime militia, the alleged strike targeted the Naba Fawar base, killing three fighters and wounding two others.
On Tuesday a senior IDF officer revealed new information regarding the most serious incident to take place between Israel and Syria in years. On March 17, IAF jets were targeted by Syrian missiles, an attack the IDF responded to immediately.
However, the senior officer revealed that not only did the IDF launch an Arrow missile interceptor to shoot down the Syrian missile, it also destroyed 100 Syrian missiles that were on their way to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
According to the officer, this action against the Syrian regime was not the first time Israel has operated against its northern neighbor in recent years. Israel usually refrains from publicly discussing air strikes it reportedly carried out in Syria, but it confirmed the one that took place on March 17.
Joy Bernard and Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.