A research facility in Damascus, Syria, was rocked by explosions on Sunday in an attack said to be from Israel.
The attack happened in the pre-dawn hours on Sunday, Syria’s state news agency reported, believed to be the second Israeli strike in Syria in three days. It marks a growing involvement for Israel in Syria’s prolonged civil war and a new attack against Hezbollah.
The attack reportedly came against trucks next to the research facility that held SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles.
Israel has said that it would make strikes against facilities helping to arm Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia and enemy of the Jewish state. Israel made strikes in January and February against weapons bound for Hezbollah.
“Initial reports point to these explosions being a result of Israeli missiles that targeted the research center in Jamraya,” Syrian news agency SANA said. The attack in January was also in Jamraya.
Video said to be of Israel’s attack in Syria made its way online late Saturday, matching international reports of the incident. It showed the night sky suddenly erupting in an explosion and fireball.
Israel had already confirmed a strike in Syria on Friday, one targeting surface-to-air missiles reportedly headed to Hezbollah.
“The Israelis, justifiably, have to guard against the transfer of advanced weaponry to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah,” President Obama said after Friday’s strike.
The missiles struck in Friday’s attack had been shipped from Iran and were being stored in a warehouse at Damascus International Airport, an American official said.
Hezbollah is seen as a strong ally for President Bashar al-Assad is he is forced to abandon they Syrian capital of Damascus. This would force him to take refuge in an Iranian-backed state on the Syrian coast, an area that is now a Hezbollah stronghold.
“The relationship between Hezbollah and the Assad regime is stronger now,” Talal Atrissi, a professor at Lebanese University in Beirut who has good relations with Hezbollah, told the New York Times.
Here is the reported video of Israel’s strike in Damascus, Syria:
[Photo courtesy Israel Defense Forces via Wikipedia Commons]