SANA: Syria’s air defenses repel Israeli attack in country’s south

Clay Curtis
January 20, 2019

Syrian air defenses repelled an Israeli air raid into its territory, successfully intercepting seven missiles fired by incoming F-16 fighter jets, the Russian military said.

The IDF declined to comment on the issue.

The alleged strike came hours after a Syrian cargo plane touched down in the Damascus International Airport from Tehran, according to publicly available flight data.

The premier said this move showed Israel's readiness to prevent Iran's efforts to entrench militarily in Syria.

At last week's Sunday cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was behind the strike two days before, a rare acknowledgement of such a raid.

In the northern Syrian town of Afrin, a blast aboard a bus killed at least three people.

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It said that the attack triggered Syrian air defense systems.

Also Sunday, state TV reported a large explosion in a southern neighbourhood of the capital, Damascus.

However, SANA News denied that anyone had been killed but said a "terrorist" had been arrested. "There are some people killed and injured but we could not verify the toll immediately", the monitor told AFP.

The airstrike on Damascus is said to have taken place after an Iranian plane had just landed in the Syrian capital and with a second on its way. Defense analysts generally dismiss the Syrian military's routine claims of successful interceptions as overstated or outright false statements.

But the head of the Observatory - which is based in Britain and relies on a network of sources inside Syria - said it was not clear if these stores were hit in the strikes.

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