Israeli jets hammer Hezbollah in Syria

Israeli warplanes flying over Lebanon fired missiles toward­s areas near the Syrian capital Damascus yesterday, hitting an arms depot and wounding three soldiers.

Syrian state TV, quoting an unnamed military official, identified the warplanes as Israeli. Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency earlier reported that Israeli warplanes were flying at low altitude over parts of southern Lebanon.

The Britain-based Syrian Observ­ato­ry for Human Rights, a war monitor, said Israeli airstrikes targeted three positions south of Damascus that were arms depots for Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group and Iranian forces.

The attack near Damascus is the first since US President Don­ald Trump announced last week that the US would withdraw all 2000 of its forces in Syria, a move that will leave control of the oil-rich eastern third of Syria up for grabs. It was also the first since a missile assault on the southern outskirts of Damascus on November 29.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed not to let Tehran — a supporter of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad — from entrenching itself militarily in the war-torn country.

Mr Netanyahu said last week that Israel would “continue to act against Iran’s attempts to entrench itself militarily in Syria, and to the extent necessary, we will even expand our actions there”.

Read the article in The Australian (AP, AFP).