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Netanyahu confirms Israeli strikes on Iranian targets in Syria

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu makes a statement on Nov. 24, 2015, at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. (U.S. State Department/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Israel at the weekend carried out an air strike on Iranian weapons in Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said.

“Just in the last 36 hours, the air force attacked Iranian warehouses containing Iranian weapons in the Damascus International Airport,” Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting on January 13.

Syrian state media had reported that Israeli warplanes fired several missiles toward Damascus late on January 11.

Syrian air defenses shot down most of the “hostile” missiles, though one hit a warehouse at Damascus airport, according to the SANA news agency.

In televised remarks, Netanyahu said Israel had succeeded in “curbing Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria” by attacking Iranian and Hizballah targets there “hundreds” of times.”

“The accumulation of recent attacks shows that we’re more determined than ever to act against Iran in Syria, just as we promised,” he also said.

Netanyahu’s comments mark a rare public acknowledgement of Israeli activity in Syria.

Iran, along with Russia and Lebanon’s Shi’ite militant group Hizballah, has given Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government crucial support throughout the war, which began with a government crackdown on protesters in March 2011.

The conflict has left more than 400,000 people dead, displaced millions, and devastated many historic sites across the country.