moke rises from a fire in a container storage area after an Israeli air strike on the Syrian port of Latakia on December 7, 2021.

Israel Strikes Iranian Weapons Shipment Near Damascus

Sunday, 10/01/2023

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) carried out airstrikes near Damascus Saturday night, specifically targeting an Iranian weapons shipment en route to Lebanon.

The airstrikes were initially reported by news outlets associated with the Syrian opposition and were not officially confirmed by state media.

The airstrikes took place in al-Dimas, located west of Damascus, and their primary targets were locations belonging to the Syrian army and pro-Iranian militia groups. Immediate reports regarding casualties were unavailable, and the extent of damage resulting from the alleged airstrikes remained uncertain.

Social media footage captured explosions, but it is unclear if they were the result of airstrikes successfully hitting their intended targets or part of Syrian air defense activities.

Traditionally, the IDF refrains from commenting on specific strikes conducted in Syria. However, they have openly acknowledged conducting numerous sorties against Iran-backed groups over the past decade, with a primary focus on intercepting arms shipments destined for entities such as Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel has also openly accused the Syrian military of supporting Hezbollah in the region.

Last month, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Israel had targeted arms depots and positions of Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well as other militia groups linked to the Islamic Republic in the rural areas of Damascus province.

Additionally, in February, Iran International obtained exclusive information indicating the establishment of an anti-aircraft defense system in Syrian territory by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The development suggested that the Islamic Republic was allocating significant funds from Iran's public budget to safeguard the airspace over Syria, where they support the country's regime.

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