Israel carries out airstrike near Damascus – Syria
The Syrian Defense Ministry has blamed Israel for firing missiles at an area outside the country’s capital Damascus early on Friday.
The aerial attack took place at 12:17am local time and targeted a location in the Damascus countryside, the ministry said in a statement on Facebook.
It said the missiles had come from the direction of the Golan Heights, a Syrian region that has remained under Israeli occupation since the Six-Day War in 1967.
Syrian air defenses were activated, shooting down “several” of the incoming missiles, it added.
There were no casualties as result of the strike but properties were damaged, the statement read.
Syria’s state-run news agency SANA has published pictures of explosions in the night sky, which were likely the result of the country’s air defenses.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF), which has a policy of not discussing its operations outside the country, has not commented on the attack.
On Thursday, two Syrian soldiers were reportedly wounded in an airstrike in the southern part of Damascus. Last week, the airport in the country’s second-largest city Aleppo was closed for two days after an attack damaged its runway.
Israel has repeatedly struck Syrian territory since the outbreak of the civil war in the neighboring country in 2011, with the aim of reducing the presence of its arch-rival Iran there. Tehran – together with Moscow – is assisting Damascus in its fight against terrorist groups.
During his previous tenure as Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged at one point that “hundreds” of such attacks had taken place over the years.
Syrian authorities have condemned the Israeli raids, insisting they violate the country’s sovereignty and international law.