A series of explosions were heard at a military compound belonging to Lebanese terror group Hezbollah near the Syrian capital of Damascus, local media reported in the early morning hours of Thursday.
According to local media, an “unidentified attack” was also reported against Hezbollah forces and Syrian government troops in a suburb of Daraa in southern Syria, in the Syrian Golan Heights. Reports in the Hebrew-language media said the attack was a battle between rebel fighters and Syrian and Hezbollah forces.
The incidents were first reported by Sky News Arabic.
The explosions near the Syrian capital, according to the reports, took place in the mountainous Qalamoun area.
The incidents come two days after what is believed to have been a chemical attack by Syrian forces on Syrian civilians in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, where at least 70 people were killed, including over 20 children.
Syria has denied involvement and its staunch ally Russia said the assault was caused by a Syrian airstrike that hit a rebel stockpile of chemical arms.
Early US assessments showed the use of chlorine gas and traces of the nerve agent sarin in the attack Tuesday, according to two US officials who weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity.
Israeli military intelligence officers also believe Syrian government forces were behind the attack, Israeli defense officials told the Associated Press. Israel believes Assad has tons of chemical weapons still in his arsenal, despite a concerted operation three years ago by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to rid the government of its stockpile, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to brief the media.
Last month, tensions escalated quickly between Israel and Syria after Israeli jets hit an arms transfer meant for Hezbollah near Palmyra, with Syrian air defenses firing missiles at the planes.
One missile was intercepted by Israel’s Arrow missile defense battery, military officials said, in the first reported use of the advanced system. It was the most serious incident between the two countries since the Syrian civil war began six years ago.
A number of additional airstrikes attributed to Israel followed as did a drone strike that reportedly killed a member of a Syrian pro-regime militia,