Israeli airstrikes near Damascus target Hezbollah sites - Syrian reports

The sites targeted contained several ammunition depots of Hezbollah and other Iran-affiliated militias

Missile fire is seen from Damascus, Syria May 10, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS/OMAR SANADIKI)
Missile fire is seen from Damascus, Syria May 10, 2018.
(photo credit: REUTERS/OMAR SANADIKI)

Israel allegedly carried out a rare daytime airstrike against Hezbollah weapon caches in Damascus on Saturday, Syrian media reported.

The airstrike, which caused explosions around the capital, killed at least one Syrian Armed Forces soldier and wounded three others, Syrian state-run SANA news agency stated.

The sites reportedly contained several ammunition depots belonging to Hezbollah and other Iran-affiliated militias, reports state.

The military site of a Syrian Armed Forces division was also reportedly targeted in the airstrikes.

The news comes amid increasing Israeli military activity targeting Iranian proxies in Syria.

 Missile fire is seen over Damascus, Syria January 21, 2019.  (credit: SANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS) Missile fire is seen over Damascus, Syria January 21, 2019. (credit: SANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Two weeks ago, an alleged Israeli airstrike targeted Syrian and Iranian-backed forces near Palmyra, killing a Syrian soldier. Just a week earlier, Syrian air defenses were activated during a suspected Israeli strike on the T4 airbase near Homs.

Meanwhile on Saturday, an IAF F-15 fighter jet escorted an American B-1 heavy bomber that crossed over Israeli airspace on its way to the Persian Gulf.

The flight of the bomber, commonly called the “bone,” was part of the joint strategic cooperation with US forces in the Middle East.

In March, a United States Air Force B-52H “Stratofortress” bomber flew over the Persian Gulf before the plane was spotted in Israel heading back to its US base.

The flyover could be construed as a message to Iran, as US President Joe Biden is undertaking attempts to bring the Islamic Republic back to the negotiating table as it continues its advancement towards nuclear capabilities.

In related news, the IDF dispatched an officer to CENTCOM headquarters in Tampa, Florida, last week to boost cooperation. The former fighter pilot with the rank of major will be stationed in Tampa and will work to improve coordination between Israel and the US military. The Jewish state now falls under CENTCOM’s jurisdiction as part of a reshuffling by the Trump administration.