Israel attacks targets near Syrian capital – state media
Syria’s air defenses were activated to repel an Israeli rocket assault near Damascus, the former's state media reported late on Friday night, weeks after West Jerusalem targeted two major airports in the country with more than a dozen missiles.
According to an unnamed official cited by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), the military responded to an attack in the vicinity of the capital around 11pm local time.
“The Israeli enemy carried out an air aggression with rockets from the northeastern direction of Lake Tiberias … and our air defense media confronted the aggression’s missiles and shot down most of them,” the military source said, adding that “losses were limited to materials.”
Though no casualties were reported in Friday’s strikes, Israel has launched several air raids into Syrian territory in recent weeks, with one killing at least five Syrian troops in mid-September, according to SANA. The Israel Defense Forces also bombed Aleppo international airport on two occasions in a matter of days last month, and targeted a major civilian airport in the capital with missiles.
Damascus airport was previously taken out of service by an Israeli air raid in June, forcing it to temporarily reroute all traffic to Aleppo.
Israel has repeatedly bombed Syria throughout the country’s decade-long struggle against jihadist insurgents – often from Lebanese airspace or the occupied Golan Heights – and while it rarely confirms such operations, officials have frequently cited the alleged threat posed by Iranian fighters deployed to assist Syrian forces.
Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, previously indicated his country had carried out “hundreds” of air raids on Syrian territory, which have continued periodically since he left office last year.