Israel Confirms Air Strike in Syria, Claiming to Target Iranian Groups and Hezbollah

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed Sunday that the country had carried out numerous airstrikes on Iranian targets in neighboring Syria, as well as Hezbollah, according to the Associated Press. The rare confirmation comes shortly after Syria's state news agency reported that Israeli had deployed missiles near Damascus. Israel has long been thought to have targeted Iranian weapons shipments to Hezbollah, a Lebanon-based militant group. But Netanyahu’s public statement confirming these strikes marked a rare departure from officials’ tendency not to comment on such operations. Officials’s typical reticence stems from fear over fueling even more discord in the region, and pulling Israel into Syria’s ongoing civil war,  per the AP. “We have operated with impressive success in thwarting Iran from establishing a military foothold in Syria, in the framework of which the military has struck hundreds of times against Iranian and Hezbollah targets,” Netanyahu reportedly said at his weekly Cabinet meeting. “In the last 36 hours alone, the air force struck storage facilities with Iranian weapons at the Damascus International Airport. The bulk of recent attacks show how we are more committed than ever to act against Iran in Syria, as we promised.” Israel has also targeted six tunnels Hezbollah dug for attacks across the border, the AP notes.