Damascus area purportedly hit by Israeli warplanes

Syrian Arab Army air defense active over Damascus Tuesday night (SANA)

Syrian anti-air defense units fired in attempt to intercept incoming projectiles launched against the Damascus area early this morning. The Israeli Defense Forces is thought to have launched the attack.

According to the Syrian state news agency, the areas of “Kiswa, Marj al Sultan and the Baghdad Bridge in the vicinity of Damascus and South Izra in the Daraa countryside” were targeted by Israeli missiles.

The Damascus area has been hit by numerous Israeli airstrikes, primarily against Iranian positions over the last several years.

The attack is thought to have originated from southern Lebanon and the Golan Heights beginning at midnight local time.

According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR):

“Several loud explosions were heard that shook the areas of the capital, Damascus, and its countryside as a result of an Israeli bombardment targeting the locations of the regime forces and Iranian “militias” in the vicinity of the city of Al-Kiswa, and the 75th Brigade in the vicinity of the village of Al-Muqilbiyah west of the capital Damascus and other areas in the vicinity of the capital Damascus.”

“Where the “Syrian Observatory” monitored the fall of a large number of rockets on the regime’s barracks and Iranian militias in the aforementioned areas, in addition to the fire in the positions of the regime forces and the Iranian militias in scientific research in the Jamaria area, while the regime’s air defenses were able to drop some missiles. However, the majority of the missiles reached their targets.”

Reports from Syrian media and SOHR differ in the number of killed and wounded in the overnight bombing.

Syrian media place the number of Syrian soldiers wounded at 8 with no deaths. SOHR states the number of dead at 23 which include Syrian soldiers, Iranian-backed militia fighters and 3 Iranians.

Satellite imagery of damage at T-4 provided by ShadowBreak and Aurora Intel

The Israeli Defense Forces is thought to have carried out a similar strike three weeks ago. On Jan. 14, the T-4 military base in Homs was struck by unidentified aircraft. Syrian state media blamed Israel for the attack after causing “material damage” to the base.

Traditionally, Israel has refrained from admitting to carrying out operations in Syria. However, in November 2019, Israel admitted to carrying out airstrikes against Iranian positions after rockets were launched from Syria against Israeli territory.

Israel will likely continue its attempt to thwart Iran and its proxy groups in Syria from obtaining advanced weaponry that would threaten it.

No comment has been made by the Israel Defense Forces about Thursday morning’s attack in Syria.

Joe Truzman is a contributor to FDD's Long War Journal.

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