January 13, 2019 1:27 pm

Israel says it struck Iranian arms depot at Syrian airport, ends hunt for Hezbollah tunnels

WATCH: Israel claims Syria air strike, says hunt for Hezbollah tunnels over


Israel has acknowledged carrying out air strikes on Damascus International Airport in Syria over the weekend in what it says was an operation to target an Iranian weapons warehouse.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said that Israel has completed its mission to detect and destroy tunnels dug by Iran-aligned Hezbollah militants along the Israeli-Lebanese border.

“In the past 48 hours, Israel attacked an Iranian weapons warehouse at the Damascus International Airport. This reflects our consistent policy and the steadfast determination to prevent Iran’s military establishment in Syria,” Netanyahu said on Twitter on Sunday.

“If necessary, we will step up these attacks.”

WATCH: Syria says Israeli rockets fired at Damascus

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On Friday night, Syrian state media reported that Israeli airstrikes damaged a warehouse at the Damascus airport, but didn’t otherwise affect airport operations.

Syria filed complaints with the UN Security Council over the airstrikes, the Times of Israel reported.

READ MORE: Israel to intensify fight against Iran in Syria following U.S. withdrawal, Netanyahu says

Netanyahu also cited the Israeli military’s assessment that it has completed its search-and-destroy mission against Hezbollah attack tunnels.

A sixth tunnel was found on Saturday, which infiltrated a few dozen metres into Israeli territory.

“According to our assessments, there are no longer any tunnels crossing into Israel,” military spokesman Lt.-Col. Jonathan Conricus said.

“This brings Operation Northern Shield to a successful close,” Netanyahu said. “We will continue to monitor all activity by Hezbollah, and by Iran and its proxies.”

WATCH: Israel Defense Forces release footage showing the destruction of a fifth cross-border tunnel

Israel has traditionally refrained from publicizing military operations against Iranian-linked targets on its northern front, but has been lifting the veil in recent days, a sign of confidence in a campaign waged amid occasional tension with Syria’s big-power backer, Russia.

Netanyahu may also be playing up his security credentials as he seeks re-election in April.

— With files from Reuters

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