Israel said on Wednesday morning that it conducted airstrikes on Damascus after missiles were fired from Syria into northern Israel. There were also reports of rocket warning sirens in northern Israel as the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) carried out the strikes against Syria.
The IDF confirmed that an anti-aircraft missile fired from Syria set off the sirens and that the missile exploded mid-air. There are also reports from the local media that Syria shot down some missiles but these reports have not been confirmed. Residents reported hearing a loud explosion in the area. However, there were no immediate reports of casualties.
Israel Strikes Back
Israeli military said that the airstrikes on Damascus were in retaliation to missiles being fired from Syria into northern Israel on Tuesday night. The targets included a Syrian radar and air defense batteries.
"In response to the anti-aircraft missile launched from Syria earlier tonight, we just struck surface-to-air missile targets in Syria, including radar & anti-aircraft batteries," Israel's military said.
Also, Syrian state media reported an alleged Israeli airstrike near Damascus on Tuesday night as Rocket sirens sounded in and near Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel.
According to the Syrian state news agency SANA, the airstrikes were conducted from Lebanon, followed by a surface-to-surface missile attack targeting sites near Damascus from the Golan Heights.
The Syrian media reported that shrapnel from an air defense missile landed on a residential building in the city of Qudsaya near Damascus. However, no casualties were reported.
According to a source, Syrian air defenses intercepted part of the Israeli missiles, and authorities are investigating the attack's outcomes.
According to SANA, there were two separate strikes carried out by Israel, with jets firing missiles from southeast of Beirut in neighboring Lebanon. About 15 minutes later, a second barrage of surface-to-surface rockets was fired from the Golan Heights toward targets in the Damascus region.
That said, Syria claims to have intercepted the Israeli missiles. "Our air defenses have confronted the aggressor's missiles and shot down some of them," the report said, adding that the strikes caused "material damage."
Claims of shooting down Israeli missiles, which are heard after practically every airstrike, are largely dismissed by analysts as bogus, meaningless boasts.
According to reports from Lebanon, Israeli jets were seen in the sky at the time of the event.
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes against targets in Syria against what it calls Iran-backed forces and Hezbollah fighters. Following Tuesday night's airstrike IDF said that it will continue to conduct airstrikes to protect Israel.
The IDF further said that the airstrikes were in direct response to the missile entering Israeli airspace. It said Israel had hit several Syrian anti-aircraft sites inside Syria, including "Syrian radar and anti-aircraft batteries that launched missiles at IAF aircraft."
"The IDF will continue to protect Israel's airspace and security," the statement said.
The airstrike comes a little over a week after an alleged Israeli airstrike targeted sites near Damascus, causing some material damage. According to the opposition-affiliated Halab Today TV, the strikes targeted sites belonging to the Assad regime near Al-Qutayfah, northeast of Damascus, causing injuries and material damage.