Israel bombs target near Damascus as Syrian war threatens to escalate


Israel bombs target near Damascus as Syrian war threatens to escalate

Jordan Shilton

17 September 2018

Israel launched a series of missile strikes on targets close to Damascus International Airport late Saturday night. The strikes, which are the latest in a long line of aggressive interventions into the Syrian conflict by Tel Aviv, were reportedly aimed at destroying a weapons depot belonging to Iranian forces or the Lebanese Hezbollah militia.

The Israeli missiles, according to Syrian government news agency SANA, were aimed at the airport but were intercepted by air defences. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group with ties to the anti-Assad opposition, reported that the target was not the airport but the nearby weapons depot.

While the Israeli government as usual refused to confirm or deny the attack, comments by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday all but acknowledged Tel Aviv’s involvement. “Israel is constantly working to prevent our enemies from arming themselves with advanced weaponry,” declared Netanyahu following reports of the attack. “Our red lines are as sharp as ever, and our determination to enforce them is as strong as ever.”

If Netanyahu’s right-wing government can proceed so aggressively in Syria, it is because its provocative air strikes enjoy the full backing of Washington. The Trump administration, along with the entire political and military establishment, see Israel as a key ally in driving Iran out of Syria and preparing for war with Tehran—a war that would have catastrophic consequences for the entire Middle East and beyond.

Earlier this month, Israeli jets struck Iranian positions in the northwestern Syria city of Hama. In August, Syrian media blamed the Israeli intelligence service Mossad for the…

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