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  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, Sep. 27, 2018.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, Sep. 27, 2018. | Photo: REUTERS

Published 13 January 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed Israel's attack on Iran's arms warehouse in Syria. 

Israel acknowledged Sunday that it carried out a weekend air strike on what it called an Iranian arms cache in Syria in a rare public confirmation.

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“We have been taking action with impressive success to arrest Iran's military entrenchment in Syria," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet in televised remarks, saying this entailed "hundreds" of attacks over the past several years of Syria's civil war.

"In just the last 36 hours, the air force struck Iran's warehouses, containing Iranian arms, in Damascus international airport," he said adding, "The accumulation of recent attacks shows that we're more determined than ever to act against Iran in Syria, just as we promised."

Syrian state media said at the time of the attack that the damage was limited to a hit on a warehouse at Damascus airport.

Netanyahu also cited an Israeli search-and-dismantle mission against suspected Hezbollah attack tunnels along the border with Lebanon that was launched in December and deemed completed Sunday.

Israel had promised to obstruct Iran, which backs Bashar Assad’s regime, from entrenching its military presence in Syria.

The outgoing Israeli military Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot told the New York Times Friday that "we struck thousands of targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit".

"We noticed a significant change in Iran's strategy. Their vision was to have significant influence in Syria by building a force of up to 100,000 Shia fighters from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq," said Eisenkot adding, "They built intelligence bases and an air force base within each Syrian air base."

The Israeli prime minister, who has three corruption charges against him, is facing elections on Apr. 9. Netanyahu may also be playing up his security credentials as he seeks re-election


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