Syrian state media: Suspected Israeli airstrikes target Damascus
BEIRUT (AP) (AP) — Airstrikes attributed to Israel targeted Syria’s capital city late Sunday, the first such strikes in nearly a month, Syrian state media reported.
Syrian air defenses responded to the strikes in the vicinity of Damascus and shot down some of them, state news agency SANA reported. The attack caused only “material damage,” it said.
The last suspected Israeli airstrike on Syria was on May 2, targeting the international airport in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. The attack killed one Syrian soldier and put the airport out of commission, state media said at the time.
There was no immediate statement from Israeli authorities regarding Sunday’s strikes on Damascus.
Britain-based opposition war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Israeli missiles had targeted sites used by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which is allied with the Syrian government, and that ambulances had transported people wounded in the strikes.
The observatory said the attack was the 17th by Israel on Syrian territory since the beginning of the year.
Israel, which has vowed to stop Iranian entrenchment next door, has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets in government-controlled parts of neighboring Syria in recent years, but rarely acknowledges them.
However, Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, said earlier this month in an address at a security conference that the new Israeli government has greatly increased the number of strikes on Iranian targets since taking office late last year.
Last week, an Israeli army spokesperson said in a statement that an Israeli drone conducting a surveillance mission in Syrian airspace “came under fire by small arms” and Israeli forces responded with machine gun fire.
Albert Aji reported from Damascus.