Israel 'threatened to bomb Assad's palace' if Iran ops continue: report
Israel warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that a palace of his would be its next target if his regime continued to allow Iran to smuggle arms through his country, Saudi news portal Elaph reported Monday.
The New Arab has reached out to Elaph for further details on the story as it could not verify the report.
It comes days after the Damascus Airport was forced shut after a runway was heavily damaged in Israeli bombing, which allegedly targeted the delivery of an Iranian weapons system.
Israel's Channel 12 claimed on Monday that air raids on the Damascus Airport had effectively thwarted 70 percent of Iranian arms smuggling operations.
The television channel reported that the air strikes were a clear message to Assad to stop Iranians from using his country to transport arms, as "he and his country’s economy will be severely affected."
It did not rule out a response from Tehran or even Assad’s regime, but said any response would be contained as "they do not have the ability to respond forcefully from the areas within Syria."
Iran is a key ally of the Assad regime and is thought to operate several Syrian airports and military facilities in regime-controlled areas.
Israel has regularly targeted these sites saying they are being used to funnel in arms for Tehran's proxies in the region, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, although it does not officially comment on most air raids in Syria.
Israel cooperated with Russia on such strikes in Syria, with missile defence systems often turned off during Israeli air raids, but recent tensions over Ukraine have reportedly led to fractures in this arrangement.