Israeli planes strike Syrian airport manned by Hezbollah, militia says


(JTA) — Hezbollah said that Israeli warplanes struck a military airport in Syria manned by its fighters.

Al-Akhbar, the official newspaper of the Shiite Islamist group, reported Friday that the previous night’s attack near Homs occurred as Syrian anti-aircraft missiles engaged the planes launching missiles at the airport. Israeli aircraft returned fire, according to the report.

Earlier this month, Israel said it struck Iranian rocket launchers in Syria after more than 20 of them were fired toward Israel.

The Al-Akhbar report did not say whether anyone was killed in the strike. It said some missiles exploded at the airport. but did not specify which facilities or areas that were hit. The base is under the control of forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose army has been fighting Sunni rebels since the outbreak of a civil war in 2011 that has claimed 500,000 lives.

Russia in recent years joined the fight on Assad’s side. Iran also supports his regime and provides logistical assistance.

According to the Syrian Center on Human Rights, six missiles were fired at the Edbah Airport, destroying Hezbollah weapons caches. Israel has declined to comment on the strike Thursday.

Hezbollah overtook the area from Sunni rebels in 2013.

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