update deskMiddle East

IDF strikes Iranian arms shipment near Damascus

The arms were reportedly destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Explosions in Damascus destroy an arms depot belonging to Iranian-backed groups, Aug. 13, 2023. Credit: Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Explosions in Damascus destroy an arms depot belonging to Iranian-backed groups, Aug. 13, 2023. Credit: Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Israel Defense Forces reportedly struck overnight Saturday an Iranian weapons convoy close to Damascus destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The airstrikes targeted assets belonging to Tehran-backed groups in between the villages of Al-Assad and Al-Dimas, just west of the Syrian capital.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, and the extent of the damage remained unclear.

An unverified video circulating online appears to show Syrian anti-missile defense systems being activated.

Last month, two people died near Beit Jinn, west of Damascus, in an airstrike attributed to Israel. On the same day, the IDF announced its tanks had struck two buildings the Syrian army constructed in the security zone between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights.

Earlier in September, two Syrian soldiers were killed by Israeli airstrikes targeting a military site in the port of Tartus, where Russia maintains a naval base. Hours later, the Israel Air Force carried out strikes in Hama, Syria, reportedly in the vicinity of the Scientific Studies and Research Center (known by its French acronym, CERS), which is involved in the production of chemical weapons as well as Hezbollah’s precision missile project.

The Israel Air Force is believed to have attacked hundreds of targets in Syria in recent years as part of an effort to prevent Iranian military entrenchment in the country. However, Israel rarely acknowledges these incidents.

Iran recently threatened to avenge the strikes, with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian saying during a visit to Damscus, “The criminal practices by the Zionist entity in the region will not remain without retaliation.”

The Islamic Republic provided immense support to President Bashar al-Assad during Syria’s long civil war and continues to arm terrorist outfits such as Hezbollah.

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