Iranian Cargo Planes Land in Damascus Hours Before 'Israeli Strike' on Airport

The strike came a day after Defense chief Lieberman said Israel 'will not allow Iranian and Hezbollah forces' to amass at the northern border ■ Syria blames Israel

Four cargo planes originating from Iran landed at an airport outside Damascus just hours before Syria accused Israel of attacking a military compound nearby.

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Explosions hit in the area of Damascus International Airport early on Thursday morning, with Syria's official news agency accusing Israel of attacking a military compound outside the airport.

Hours before the blasts, which took place at 3:25 A.M., two Iranian 747 cargo planes, an Iranian Ilyushin il-76 and a Syrian Ilyushin il-76 landed in Damascus, according to the flight radar tracking site Flightradar24.com.

Syria confirms Israeli strike hit military compound near Damascus airport Haaretz

The flights were both military and commercial, all taking off from Tehran, Iran.

Without confirming whether Israel was behind the strike, Intelligence Affairs Minister Yisrael Katz told Army Radio on Thursday morning that the attack in Syria was "entirely consistent with our policy to prevent the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah."

>> The attack in Damascus: Israel's policy of ambiguity is nearing an end

While visiting Moscow, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday that Israel "will not allow Iranian and Hezbollah forces to be amassed on the Golan Heights border."

The Defense Ministry said Lieberman discussed the situation in Syria and the continued coordination between the Israeli and the Russian armies with Russia’s foreign and defense ministers. The statement said that "Defense Minister Lieberman expressed concern over Iranian activity in Syria and the Iranian use of Syrian soil as a base for arms smuggling to Hezbollah in Lebanon."