Israel said to target army base near Damascus used by Iranian forces

State media says surface-to-surface missiles fired from Golan Heights caused property damage; no reports of injuries in month’s second attack attributed to Israel

Illustrative: An explosion seen at the Syrian port of Latakia on December 28, 2021, after an alleged Israeli strike. (Screen capture/Twitter)
Illustrative: An explosion seen at the Syrian port of Latakia on December 28, 2021, after an alleged Israeli strike. (Screen capture/Twitter)

Israeli missiles fired from the Golan Heights struck targets south of Damascus late Wednesday night, according to Syrian state media.

SANA reported that Israel launched surface-to-surface missiles from the Golan Heights, which fell near the town of Zakiya, causing property damage.

While explosions from the strike rocked Damascus, there were no reports of Syrian air defense systems activated, likely due to the use of surface-to-surface munitions as opposed to missiles fired from the air. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Local media reported that the target was a Syrian military base used by pro-Iranian militias.

Wednesday night’s attack was the second one attributed to Israel this month.

On February 9, SANA said the country’s air defenses “confronted an Israeli aggression” near Damascus. One soldier was killed and five were wounded in the Israeli strikes, according to the state news agency.

In response, the Syrian military fired an anti-aircraft missile that exploded in the air over northern Israel, setting off warning sirens in the town of Umm al-Fahm and communities in the northern West Bank.

There were no reports of casualties, but shrapnel landed near the Homesh outpost, causing a small fire.

Israel’s alleged use of surface-to-surface missiles — in place of munitions fired from aircraft — has been linked to a recent meeting between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Russian President Vladimir Putin, one of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s main allies, who has supplied much of Damascus’s air defense system. To avoid embarrassing Russia and its military technology, Israel reportedly agreed to rely less on airstrikes, which had repeatedly defeated the Russian batteries.

Israel has staged hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled Syria over the years but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations. Many of the strikes in the past had targeted the main airport in the capital Damascus, through which Iran is also believed to transfer advanced arms to its proxies.

Israel has acknowledged that it targets the bases of Iranian forces and Iran-allied terror groups, particularly along the Golan border, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has fighters deployed in southern Syria. It says it also attacks arms shipments believed to be bound for those groups.

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