Syria says its air defences intercepted Israeli missiles

Air raids came after Lebanese media outlets had reported low-flying Israeli jets over Beirut.

Damascus and Homs map
Damascus and Homs map

Israeli air raids targeted the Damascus and Homs regions in Syria late on Thursday, official Syrian news agency SANA reported, saying that the country’s air defences intercepted several Israeli missiles.

SANA cited a Syrian military source as saying that the air raids came from the direction of Beirut, to the southeast.

“Our air defence tools have intercepted the missiles and downed most of them, and the aggression’s impact is being assessed now,” the source said.

Lebanese media outlets had reported low-flying Israeli jets above Beirut.

Lebanon’s civilian aviation chief Fadi al-Hassan told Aljadeed TV that two flights heading towards Beirut were temporarily asked to change course because of the Israeli operation, but they eventually landed safely in the Lebanese capital.

Israel has been regularly bombing Hezbollah and government targets in Syria for the past few years, but it rarely acknowledges such attacks.

The Israeli military has recently used Lebanon’s airspace to launch the attacks in an apparent effort to avoid confrontation with the Russian air force, which is active in Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, said at least three missiles targeted weapon depots belonging to Hezbollah in the Damascus countryside. It is unclear whether the attack caused any casualties.

The Israeli raids on Thursday follow a recent flare-up on the Israel-Lebanon border between Hezbollah and the Israeli military.

The two sides exchanged fire earlier this month without casualties. Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah later warned Israel that his group will retaliate against any Israeli attack.

“We are not looking for war and we do not want to head towards war, but we are ready for it,” Nasrallah said.

Source: Al Jazeera