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Official confirms Israel launched 2nd airstrike

  • Published at 06:36 am May 5th, 2013
Official confirms Israel launched 2nd airstrike

An intelligence official in the Middle East has confirmed that Israel launched a second airstrike in three days Syria.

The official tells The Associated Press that the target of Sunday’s strike was a shipment of advanced guided Iranian-made missiles believed to be on their way to Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to disclose information about a secret military operation to the media, says the strike took place in Damascus.

The statement comes hours after Syria’s state media said Israeli missiles struck a research center near the Syrian capital, Damascus, early Sunday, setting off explosions and causing casualties.

Earlier on Saturday, Israeli officials confirmed the country’s air force carried out a strike against Syria and say it targeted a shipment of advanced missiles bound for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

The officials said the attack took place early Friday and targeted sophisticated “game-changing” weapons. One official said the target was a shipment of advanced, long-range ground-to-ground missiles.

The Israeli officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a secret military operation. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly warned in recent weeks that Israel would be prepared to take military action if chemical weapons or other arms that would upset the balance of power with Hezbollah were to reach the Islamic militant group.

It was the latest salvo in Israel’s long-running effort to disrupt the Shiite militia’s quest to build an arsenal capable of defending against Israel’s air force and spreading destruction inside the Jewish state.

In January, the Israeli air force is believed to have targeted a shipment of advanced SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles bound for Hezbollah. Israel has not formally admitted to carrying out that airstrike, though officials have strongly hinted they were behind the attack.