Israeli missile attack on Syria’s Damascus area wounds 2 soldiers
Two soldiers were injured and damage sustained in Israel’s latest air attacks in vicinity of Syria’s capital city.
Israel has conducted air attacks on targets in the Damascus area with loud explosions heard over the capital city at approximately 1:20am local time (22:20 GMT), the ministry of defence and state media reported.
The SANA state news agency said Syrian air defences were “confronting hostile targets” in the early hours of Thursday morning.
State media, citing a military source, said Israel had launched “a number of missiles” from the Golan Heights aimed at the vicinity of Damascus that had left two soldiers wounded and caused “some material damage”.
Syrian air defences had confronted the missiles and “shot down some of them”, the source added.
“At around 01:20 am (10:20 GMT), the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial aggression from the direction of the occupied Golan Heights targeting several positions in the vicinity of Damascus,” Syria’s defence ministry said later.
The ministry did not provide any details on the targets and said that the strikes injured two soldiers and caused material damage.
Israel has carried out hundreds of air attacks against targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years, including two missile strikes this month on Aleppo International Airport, which marked the third attack by Israeli forces on the air transport facility in six months.
Israel rarely acknowledges its attacks on sites in Syria, which it claims are aimed at bases of Iran-allied armed groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war that erupted in 2011.
Last week’s Israeli attack on Aleppo airport put the facility out of operation for two days. Aleppo International Airport has been a crucial channel for the flow of humanitarian aid into the country since a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck southern Turkey and northwestern Syria on February 6, killing more than 50,000 people, including more than 6,000 in Syria.
A group monitoring the Syrian civil war said the Israeli missile strikes last week destroyed a suspected arms depot used by Iran-backed fighters at Aleppo airport. On March 7, three people were killed in the Israeli air strike on the airport that also halted flights for three days
Along with airports, Israeli warplanes have also aimed at other critical infrastructure, including Syrian seaports.
Israel says such operations are aimed at preventing Iranian weapons from reaching armed groups in Syria that are backed by Tehran.
Nearly half a million people have been killed in Syria’s civil war, and around half of the country’s pre-war population has been forced from their homes.