Israel 'expects less weapons smuggling' after strike on Damascus Airport
Israeli military commanders believe that a recent strike on the runways of Damascus International Airport will reduce arms smuggling, the Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported on Wednesday evening.
A Kan report said that the Israeli military believed that they had successfully sent a message to Syria’s ruling Assad regime by temporarily putting the civilian airport out of action.
Israeli commanders now expect that the Assad regime will stop Iran from using civilian aircraft to ferry advanced military equipment to the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah, according to Kan.
Israel bombed the runways of Damascus Airport on 10 June, saying that Iran was using civilian flights to smuggle equipment to Hezbollah which could turn ordinary rockets into high-accuracy ones.
Iran has been a key backer of the Assad regime throughout the Syrian conflict, which broke out in 2011 after the brutal repression of peaceful anti-regime protests. Hezbollah and other Iran-backed militias intervened in the conflict as it progressed to support the Assad regime.
Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes on Syria since 2011.
Damascus Airport was due to reopen on Thursday, according to a regime announcement, following repairs to the runways.
Kan said that it remained to be seen whether Iran would once again use the airport to transport military equipment to Hezbollah.
Hezbollah and Israel have fought several wars, the last of which was in 2006. Occasional clashes and skirmishes have taken place since then.