'Israel Overnight Strike Targeted Iranian Missile Shipment Meant for Hezbollah'

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Western intelligence sources confirmed on Sunday morning that both the overnight strike and Friday's alleged attack on Syria targeted an Iranian missile shipment intended for Hezbollah.

The sources said the target was a shipment of Fateh-110 missiles. The Fateh-110 is a medium-range advanced guided missile capable of hitting targets at a range of up to 300 kilometers.

Israel did not officially respond to the reports.

Large explosions rocked Damascus early Sunday morning, only a few days after an Israeli strike allegedly hit the country, Syrian state TV reported. The Assad regime's news service blamed Israel for the rocket strike, which targeted a military research center on Mount Qassioun, north of Damascus.

On Saturday morning, anonymous Israeli officials told the Associated Press that the Israeli Air Force carried out a strike against Syria early Friday that targeted a shipment of advanced missiles bound for the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group.

According to a New York Times report on Saturday, American officials say the first alleged Israeli strike on Syria also targeted Iranian Fateh-110 missiles that Israel thought were headed for Hezbollah. 

A shipment of the missiles were being stored at a Damascus airport when they were struck in the attack, a U.S. official told the newspaper.

Later Saturday, U.S. President Barack Obama said that Israel has the right to guard against the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah.

Israel has long made clear it is prepared to resort to force to prevent advanced Syrian weapons from reaching Hezbollah or jihadi rebels. Israeli warplanes allegedly went after the shipment inside Syria, where a two-year civil war is raging.

Israel Air Force pilots.Credit: Daniel Bar-On.

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