The Syrian air defense was responding to “hostile targets” over the Damascus area, SANA news agency reported on Sunday.
The Syrian air defense repelled the missiles that exploded in the sky in the south of Damascus, a Sputnik correspondent said later. A Syrian security source also confirmed the missiles were launched by the Israeli military.
The Israeli Defense Forces have also confirmed carrying strikes against Damascus on Twitter. The IDF said it targeted Islamic Jihad positions in Syria.
“At 23:25 pm on Sunday, 23 February 2020, Israeli warplanes from outside our airspace, and over the occupied Syrian Golan, targeted the vicinity of Damascus with more than a wave of guided missiles. [The Syrian air defences] caused the missiles to deviate from their path, destroying most of the remainder before reaching their goals, and the results of the aggression are still being examined”, a military source told SANA.
Earlier media reports said explosions were heard in the sky over the Syrian capital.
Alleged videos from Damascus have already emerged on social media.
Meanwhile, the IDF says it has also attacked what it called “terrorist targets” in the Gaza Strip following at least 21 missiles launched from across the border into southern Israel, 13 of them were intercepted. Israel holds the Islamic Jihad group responsible for the recent attacks. Alleged images from Gaza were also shared on Twitter.
On 13 February, the Syrian air defense reported missiles were fired at the Damascus area from the direction of the Israeli-controlled Syrian Golan Heights. Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu insisted he did not know anything about the airstrikes and suggested it was “the Belgian Air Force”.
The strikes come less than a week after a separate Israeli attack on Damascus, in which a Syrian Airbus A320 with 172 people on board had to be diverted to the Russian base in Latakia province, facing the risk of accidental destruction by Syrian air defenses, the Russian military said. Moscow accused the Israeli Air Force of making common practice of using unarmed and civilian aircraft as “shields,” adding that this was not the first incident of its kind in recent years.
As of today, Tel Aviv has conducted hundreds of airstrikes against Syria, often firing missiles outside Syria’s airspace from the Golan or Lebanon to try to complicate air defense operations. Israel says it fears that Iran may use its alleged military presence in Syria, which Tel Aviv insists exists, as a launchpad for an attack on Israel.
Source: Sputnik, SANA