Israel airstrikes target Iran-linked military base in Syria


Israel has repeatedly struck Iran-linked targets in Syria and has warned against any Iranian presence on the frontier. The former denied commenting on the airstrikes even after media reportage.

Syrian air defences on Sunday night opened fire in response to missiles being fired from inside Israel, the state media reported.

Without divulging further details in the matter, the Syrian state TV, however, quoted residents in Damascus as saying that explosions could be heard near the capital. There were no immediate reports of casualties, according to Fox News.

Media reports further said that one of the Israeli missiles was shot down near Aqraba, a suburb near Damascus.

Israel, in the meantime, denied commenting on the issue.

In neighbouring Lebanon, Israeli warplanes could be heard flying in the country’s airspace at the time of the airstrikes in Syria. Damascus had earlier said that Israeli warplanes have fired missiles into Syria from Lebanon’s airspace.

Fox News reported that the explosions were also heard in the city of Homs, in western Syria, that is also home of a base that is linked to Iran.

Israel has repeatedly struck Iran-linked targets in Syria in recent years and has warned against any permanent Iranian presence on the frontier.

Last month, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it carried out “wide-scale strikes” of targets in Syria belonging to Iranian forces and the Syrian regime, in response to four rockets launched into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights last month. The targets reportedly included missile launchers, warehouses that stored weapons, command centres and bases.

Also in November, Israel killed a senior commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an Iran-backed group in the Gaza Strip, setting off two days of heavy fighting.

Iran has forces based in Syria, Israel’s northern neighbour, and supports Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.