Israeli airstrikes said to target Damascus for third time in days
Syrian defense ministry says damage caused to some sites around capital, following rare daytime raid Monday and Friday night attack
Israeli missiles targeted Syria and damaged sites near the capital early Thursday in the third alleged strike in under a week, Damascus said.
Syria blamed Israel for airstrikes at about 12:30 a.m., according to a defense ministry statement carried by state media.
The statement said several areas near Damascus were targeted, causing damage to unspecified sites. There were no reports of casualties.
Air defenses managed to shoot down some missiles, the ministry said.
The official SANA news agency said blasts could be heard around the capital.
It published video that appeared to show a missile flying over Damascus and exploding midair.
There was no immediate comment from Israel, which has admitted to conducting hundreds of sorties against Iran-backed groups attempting to gain a foothold in the country over the last decade.
The IDF says it also attacks arms shipments believed to be bound for those groups, chief among them Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Additionally, airstrikes attributed to Israel have repeatedly targeted Syrian air defense systems.
The last several days have seen several attacks on the Syrian capital, breaking a month-long lull.
On Monday, SANA said a rare daytime Israeli strike injured a Syrian soldier and on Friday night, the broadcaster said Israeli missiles targeted the capital.
Israeli strikes have continued in Syrian airspace, which is largely controlled by Russia, even as Jerusalem’s ties with Moscow have deteriorated in recent months. Israel has found itself at odds with Russia as it has increasingly supported Ukraine while seeking to maintain freedom of movement in Syria’s skies.
Reports in recent months indicated that Russia had removed its advanced S-300 air defense battery out of Syria to bolster its efforts against Ukraine.
In June, Israeli airstrikes put Damascus airport out of service for nearly two weeks. A pair of sorties targeting the Aleppo airport in early September also forced that facility to shut down.
The alleged strikes came as Israel’s military holds a weeklong drill across the country’s north.
The recent rare lull in strikes coincided with high-stakes negotiations to settle a longstanding maritime dispute between Israel and Lebanon that ended in an agreement earlier this month. A brief hiccup in the talks had briefly raised tensions along the northern frontier with Lebanon-based Hezbollah.
The deal is set to be finalized Thursday afternoon.