Two Hezbollah fighters allegedly killed by Israeli air strikes in Syria
Israeli authorities have so far denied claims of carrying out air strikes in Damascus over the weekend. (AFP/File)
Two Hezbollah operatives were killed during air strikes in Syria Sunday attributed to the Israeli air force, Arabic satellite channel Al Arabiya reported on Monday.
One of the slain was a senior official from the Lebanese group, the report said.
Syrian state TV, which accused Israel of carrying out air strikes on the Damascus International Airport and an airfield near the town of Dimas on the Syrian-Lebanese border, had maintained that there were no casualties in the attacks.
The power supply to the airport has been cut off since the attack, the report said, citing Syrian rebel sources.
Arabic media reported Monday that the two Israeli air strikes the day before had targeted advanced Russian-made air-defense missiles bound for Hezbollah.
The reports said that eight Israeli fighter jets were involved in the attacks.
Israel has made no official comment on the air strikes.
Syrian security sources told the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper that it was likely that Sunday’s attack had targeted air-defense missiles that were about to be transferred to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The sources said that the Dimas airfield was apparently the storage site for the missiles, which had recently been delivered by Russia.
The Lebanese daily As-Safir, which is identified with Hezbollah, however, quoted Syrian officials as confirming that the attacks were aimed at weapons shipments that recently reached Syria, but denying that those weapons were advanced missiles.
The paper also claimed that the relatively small explosions seen during the attacks were an indication that the missions failed to destroy their targets.
The Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper, which is also identified with Hezbollah quoted security officials as saying that the site near Damascus airport was hit first and that the target was a cargo hangar. The second target, in the Dimas area, was a row of hangars at a military site, they said.
Israel has reportedly carried out several air strikes in Syria since the revolt against President Bashar Assad began in March 2011. Most of the strikes were said to have targeted sophisticated weapons systems, including Russian- and Iranian-made anti-aircraft batteries, believed to have been slated for delivery to Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist group, a staunch ally of Assad and Iran.
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