Syrian air defences intercept Israeli strikes in vicinity of Damascus — state media

A truck in flames following an alleged Israeli airstrike near the Syrian town of Qusayr, February 25, 2024. (X screengrab: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
A truck in flames following an alleged Israeli airstrike near the Syrian town of Qusayr, February 25, 2024. (X screengrab: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Syrian air defenaes intercepted Israeli strikes in the vicinity of the capital Damascus, state media says.

Syrian state media gives no further details about the attacks or the intended targets.

Pro-Iranian Lebanese television al Maydeen says a big explosion was heard in the heavily fortified Sayeda Zainab neighborhood of the Syrian capital where a major Shi’ite shrine is located. It gave no further details.

The Israeli military declines to comment.

Regional intelligence sources say Iran’s Quds Force and militias it backs, whose presence has spread in Syria in recent years, have a strong presence in the Sayeda Zainab neighbourhood of southern Damascus where Iranian backed militias have a string of underground bases.

Iran has been a major backer of President Bashar al-Assad during Syria’s nearly 12-year-old conflict.

Its support for Damascus and the Lebanese group Hezbollah has drawn regular Israeli air strikes meant to curb Tehran’s extraterritorial military power.

Those strikes have ramped up during the Gaza war, with more than half a dozen Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers killed in suspected Israeli strikes on Syria since December.

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