Syria intercepts missiles fired by Israel to Damascus, Syria’s capital

An image grab shows on November 20, 2019 smoke and fire billowing during a reported Israeli air strike on the outskirts of Damascus. (File photo: AFP)

Syrian air defenses intercepted and destroyed missiles launched by Israel from the direction of the Golan Heights toward Damascus, Syrian state news agency SANA reported early Morning citing a military source.

Explosions were heard in Syria’s capital Damascus, state TV reported earlier.

Syrian state media broadcast footage of what it said were the air defenses firing, with bright lights seen shooting across the night sky.

Israel’s military did not immediately comment on the latest strike.

Israel routinely carries out raids in Syria, mostly against targets affiliated with Iran in what it says is a bid to prevent its archfoe from securing further foothold along its borders.

Iran has members of its own military as well as fighters from a variety of nationalities fighting with militias it supports deployed across Syria.

Last month, Israel said it had hit about 50 targets in the neighboring country in 2020.

The Israeli army has carried out hundreds of air and missile strikes on Syria since the civil war broke out in 2011, targeting Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces as well as government troops.

Western intelligence sources told Reuters Israel’s stepped up strikes on Syria in the last few months are part of a shadow war approved by the United States and part of the anti-Iran policy that has undermined in the last two years Iran’s extensive military power without triggering a major increase in hostilities.

They said that the past year has seen an expansion in the targets hit by Israel across Syria where thousands of Iranian-backed militias have been involved in regaining much of the territory lost by Syrian President Bashar al Assad to insurgents in a nearly decade old civil war.

- With Reuters, AFP