Israel fires missiles over Damascus: Syria

Clay Curtis
January 12, 2019

Syrian air defenses intercepted missiles reportedly fired by Israeli fighter jets on Friday night, according to state news agency SANA, causing damage but no casualties.

"At 11:15 before midnight Israeli warplanes coming from Al-Jalil area launched many missiles towards Damascus area and our air defenses intercepted them and downed majority", a Syrian military source said to SANA.

A Syrian military source said the target appears to have been a "ministry of transport warehouse at Damascus worldwide airport".

An AFP correspondent in Damascus heard several loud explosions late on Friday, the global news agency said.

In an earlier report, SANA had spoken of Syrian air defence batteries attacking "enemy targets". It also said Israeli fighter jets were also operating in Lebanese airspace.

Many of them have been in the area south of Damascus.

Israel has mounted attacks in Syria as part of its efforts to counter the influence carved out there by Iran, which is supporting President Bashar al-Assad in the war that erupted in 2011.

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The airstrike comes after Israeli warplanes conducted a similar attack against Syria on 25 December, destroying an ammunition depot near the capital Damascus.

In the past, Israeli forces repeatedly bombed sites in the vicinity of Damascus, claiming their right to attack "Iranian targets" anywhere and at any time, but rarely admitting to having carried out such raids.

Commentators suggested the attacks have targeted a Hezbollah-linked facility in Al Kisweh.

"The results of the assault were limited to the targeting of a warehouse at Damascus International Airport", the source added.

An Israeli official said it was Syrian air defenses that endangered the civilian planes, by firing 30 missiles in response to the airstrike.

In September, a Russian transport aircraft was accidentally downed by Syrian ground batteries in a friendly-fire incident that Moscow blamed on Israel.

Syrian Foreign Ministry said last month that the repeated Israeli attacks on Syria aim to prolong the more than seven-year war in the country.

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