Reports emerge of a third IAF strike in Syria

Israel denies it has attacked Hezbollah targets on Monday morning for the third time in the past few days, as Arab news sources are reporting.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) attacked Hezbollah weapons caches in Syria early Monday morning, Arab news outlets report. It was the third alleged attack in recent days and, unlike the previous incidents, there are reports of casualties in this latest attack.

Israel denies the reports.

According to Al-Arabiya and Al-Jazeera, the IAF targeted missile launchers and depots containing long-range weapons intended for Hezbollah as well as forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad in the al-Qalamoun region. Another report indicates that the IAF’s specific target was storehouses for chemical weapons.

As in the prior incidents, neither side confirmed the reports.

The Israeli news site Ynet estimates that the early morning attacks were carried out by the Jabhat al-Nusra rebels as part of the Syrian civil war and not by the IAF. Quoting “reliable sources,” Ynet explains that the region is well known for its heavy fighting and that the al-Qaeda-affiliated rebels are trying to push back the Syrian military and Hezbollah, who control the area.

Moshe yaalon

Defense Minister Ya’alon during a military exercise. (Ariel Hermoni/MOD)

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon – speaking on Sunday at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv at a ceremony attended by senior security officials and military commanders, including IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkott – warned Hezbollah against arming itself to attack Israel, possibly alluding to the recent IDF attacks.

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Iran continues with its efforts to arm Hezbollah, even during these very days, and it hopes to equip the Lebanese terrorist organization with advanced and precise weapons,” Ya’alon said. “Members of the [Iranian] Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah hope to do that by every way and means, while aware of the red lines that the State of Israel has set down, on which it has no intention of compromising.”

“We won’t allow a transfer of quality weapons to terrorist organizations, Hezbollah foremost among them, and we will know to reach it [Hezbollah] and those who direct it at all times and all places. We will not allow Hezbollah to establish a terror infrastructure on our borders with Syria, and we have the ability to reach anyone who threatens Israeli citizens along our borders or even far from them,” he stated.