Israel’s air defense system – likely the Arrow – was activated late Tuesday night against a Syrian anti-aircraft missile, following an alleged Israeli air strike over the capital of Damascus. Media reports claimed that Israel struck weapon warehouses near the Syrian capital.
FROM THE JPOST: According to unconfirmed Israeli reports, the launch was carried out from the northern city of Hadera, with pictures published on social media of a large tail of smoke heading into the sky and residents in the Hefer Valley Regional Council also reported hearing the sound of loud explosion.
It is still unclear whether any Syrian missiles were intercepted from the IDF’s reported perspective.
Syrian state media reported Tuesday night that regime air defenses intercepted “hostile targets” west of Damascus during an alleged Israeli air strike, which according to local reports involved 22 missiles targeting sites including weapons depots belonging to pro-Iranian militias in Damascus.
— Zaid Benjamin (@zaidbenjamin) December 25, 2018
Other locations reported by Syrian media to have been struck during the strike are as follows: pro-Iranian military positions located in the suburbs of Damascus, air defense facilities and headquarters of the 68th Brigade and the 137th Brigade of the Syrian Army in the Damascus area, a military headquarters belonging to the 4th Division of the Syrian Army in the Al-Muna area surrounding Damascus and military Unit 10 in the district of Qatana.
The IDF destroyed a cache of Iranian Fajr-5 missiles stored in a weapons depot near Damascus this evening that had the potential to threaten the area surrounding the Galilee, according to Israeli news agency Nziv.net.
A second report released by Nziv, says that a delegation of senior Hezbollah figures who arrived in Damascus came under Israeli attack during the airstrikes.
According to the Jerusalem Post’s sister publication Maariv, the official Syrian news agency SANA reported that a Syrian military official claimed, “Israeli air force planes attacked tonight, most of the missiles were intercepted before hitting targets.” Later is was reported that three Syrian soldiers were wounded and that an ammunition depot was damaged in the attack.
Dashcam footage from Road 6 of the launch of an #Israeli AD missile earlier near #Hadera following this evening airstrikes in #Syria. @Intel_sky @IsraelD_Heb @edrormba @BabakTaghvaee @Dannymakkisyria @IntelCrab @IdeologyWars @TheWarOfNow @intellipus pic.twitter.com/cKYeppl1NX
— Observer IL – 🅾️🅱️🔺️ (@Obs_IL) December 25, 2018
Several people on the ground filmed the rockets shooting skyward, thought to be S-200 air defense, which is the main system Syria uses. Locals reported debris and missile strikes near Dimas, Qatana, Saboura and near Mazzah all west of Damascus. Some of these areas have been targeted in the past.
In September, Syrian air defense shot down a Russian Il-20 during an Israeli air raid in Latakia and Russia blamed Israel for the mistake. Since then the number of incidents in which Syria has alleged Israeli air strikes has decreased. Syria was given the S-300 more advanced system by Moscow, but it is not clear if the system is operational.
Earlier on Tuesday, Lebanese media reported that Israeli Air Force jets had been circling over the southern part of the country before the strike on the Syrian capital.
KAN reporter Amichai Stein wrote that this is a “possible strike in west Damascus…heard all across the city.” Israeli media cited accounts of eyewitnesses who claimed to see a column of smoke in the air over Hadera. Additional reports were cited of people hearing loud explosions in northern Israel. READ MORE