Israeli Missiles Target Iran Arms Depot Near Damascus Airport

Clay Curtis
September 17, 2018

The Israeli missile strike on the Damascus worldwide airport reportedly targeted an Iranian plane delivering weapons for pro-Assad forces and Revolutionary Guards units fighting in the country's civil war.

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrians cast their votes at a polling station during municipal elections, in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, Sept 16, 2018.

For years, Israel has been concerned that Iran is using opportunities presented by the Syrian civil war to entrench itself militarily in the country in order to further threaten the Jewish state - alongside the threat already posed by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Seven years since the last vote, the conflict has killed more than 360,000 people, forced millions more to flee, and left the economy in tatters.

Syrian troops now control around two-thirds of the country after scoring a series of military victories in recent months, including around Damascus and in the country's south.

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More than 6,550 voting centres opened at 7:00 am (0400 GMT) across government-held parts of the country, state media reported.

Polls opened on Sunday in government-controlled areas, with more than 40,000 candidates standing for 18,478 council seats, according to the Ministry of Local Administration.

But there appeared to be fewer people heading to the polls than in previous presidential or parliamentary elections, particularly as Sunday was a regular work day. Some 3 million people of Syria's pre-war population of 22 million live under opposition rule in the country's northwest Idlib province and surrounding areas.

Turnout was modest at stations in the Syrian capital and candidates aligned with the ruling Baath party were expected to win.

The councils operate at the municipal level, and newly elected representatives are expected to have more responsibilities than their predecessors, especially those linked to reconstruction and urban development.

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