Syria accuses Israel of airstrikes in Damascus for second night in a row


The Israeli Air Force carried out airstrikes in the Syrian capital Damascus shortly after midnight on Friday, for the second night in a row, according to a Syrian state media outlet.

The state news agency SANA reported that Syrian air defenses intercepted the “hostile missiles” over the capital, although the “attack” managed to cause material damage. Damascus regularly claims that it is successful in intercepting IDF strikes, but military analysts doubt these assertions.

There were no immediate reports of injuries in the strike.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the strikes targeted weapons depots for government forces and Iran-backed groups just south of Damascus.

Footage circulating on social media showed explosions in the sky, apparently from Syrian air defense missiles.

Less than 24 hours earlier, SANA said the IAF targeted sites in Damascus, wounding two soldiers and causing material damage.

The conditions of the two soldiers were not immediately clear. In recent years, many Syrian soldiers serving in air defense units have been killed in Israeli airstrikes.

As a general rule, the Israeli military does not comment on specific strikes in Syria, but they have admitted that they have carried out hundreds of sorties against Iranian-backed groups trying to gain a foothold in the country over the past decade.

The IDF says it also attacks weapons shipments believed to be bound for those groups, including Lebanon’s main terrorist organization Hezbollah. In addition, airstrikes attributed to Israel have repeatedly targeted Syrian air defense systems.

The alleged airstrikes on Thursday and Friday followed two attacks in recent weeks against Aleppo International Airport, which were also blamed on Israel. The attacks temporarily closed the airport’s runway.

One of the strikes last week also targeted an underground ammunition depot at the nearby Nairab military airport, according to two unnamed “regional intelligence sources” who spoke to the Reuters news agency. The sources said the site was used to store missile guidance systems delivered by cargo flights from Iran.

Also this month, Israel carried out a rare daytime strike against targets in northwestern Syria, injuring three soldiers and causing damage, SANA said.

In January, the Syrian army said the Israeli military fired missiles toward Damascus International Airport, temporarily disabling it and killing two soldiers. That attack came amid Israeli fears that the Damascus airport was being used to funnel Iranian weapons into the country.

AP contributed to this report

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