Israel attacks Syria sites

May 06, 2013 - 3:15:04 am

A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) yesterday shows “the damage caused by an Israeli strike.” 

DAMASCUS: Israeli strikes hit a military target outside Damascus yesterday, the Jewish state’s second reported raid on Syria this week, with residents saying the attack felt like an earthquake and turned the sky red. A senior Israeli source said the aerial assault hit Iranian weapons destined for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which is allied to the Syrian regime.

And a diplomatic source in Beirut told AFP three sites were targeted — a military facility, a nearby weapons depot and an anti-aircraft unit in Sabura, west of the capital.

The official SANA news agency said Israel had targeted the military research centre at Jamraya, northwest of Damascus, without giving details on casualties or damage. “This new Israeli aggression is a clear attempt to alleviate the pressure on the armed terrorist groups after our army beat them back in several regions and after the army’s victories on the road to recovering security and stability in Syria,” SANA said.

The Israeli strike “opens door to all possibilities,” said Syria’s Information Minister Omran Al Zohbi at a press conference broadcast live on state television.

The Israeli strikes were staunchly condemned by Egypt as a “violation” of international law while the Cairo-based Arab League demanded UN Security Council intervention to stop such Israeli attacks. The Israeli source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the target “was Iranian missiles which were destined for Hezbollah”.

He also confirmed Israel was behind an attack overnight on Thursday, which sources told AFP targeted a weapons storage facility at Damascus airport.

“This attack proves the direct involvement of the Israeli occupation in the conspiracy against Syria and its links with terrorist groups in the aggression supported by Western countries and some Gulf countries,” SANA said of the latest strike.

Residents of the upscale Damascus neighbourhood of Dumar said the earth shook violently and turned the black night sky red. “It was like an earthquake, the sky was yellow and red,” said 72-year-old Najwa.

Video footage uploaded to YouTube appeared to show a series of missiles lighting up clouds, blazing fires and an explosion producing an orange fireball that momentarily fills the screen.