Alleged Israeli airstrike reported in southern Syria

The airstrike comes after two flights of airlines allegedly used by the IRGC to transfer weapons to Syria and Lebanon were reportedly spotted en route to Damascus.

Syrian air defence batteries responding to what the Syrian state media said were Israeli missiles targeting Damascus, in a picture taken early on January 21st, 2019 (photo credit: STR / AFP)
Syrian air defence batteries responding to what the Syrian state media said were Israeli missiles targeting Damascus, in a picture taken early on January 21st, 2019
(photo credit: STR / AFP)
An alleged Israeli airstrike targeted sites in southern Syria and near Damascus on Wednesday night, according to Syria's state news agency SANA.
Independent reports from regional media reported that the strikes also targeted sites near Damascus, including near the city's international airport and sites belonging to the Syrian military and pro-Iranian militias in the area, according to the Step News Agency.
Saudi news agency Al-Arabiya reported that sites belonging to Hezbollah were targeted in the strikes and warning sirens sounded at research centers near Damascus.

A Syrian military source told SANA that sites in southern Syria were targeted by airstrikes and surface-to-surface missiles and that most of the missiles were intercepted, with only material damages reported.
Earlier on Wednesday, two flights of airlines allegedly used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps to transfer weapons to Syria and Lebanon were reportedly spotted en route from Tehran to Damascus by independent tracking sites. Alleged Israeli airstrikes are often reported in Syria shortly after such flights.
The strikes come hours after anti-aircraft fire targeted and missed an IDF drone over southern Lebanon. Hezbollah was reportedly behind the attempt to down the drone. On Monday, Hezbollah announced that it had succeeded in downing a quadcopter belonging to the IDF after it entered Lebanese airspace in southern Lebanon near the town of Blida, located west of the Golan Heights.
The strikes are the fifth in the past month, with strikes attributed to Israel reported in eastern, southern and Western Syria in January.
On Saturday night, unidentified aircraft targeted sites belonging to pro-Iranian militias near Al-Bukamal in the Deir Ezzor region of eastern Syria, according to local news source Deir EzZor 24 and Step News.
Deir EzZor 24 reported that over 15 airstrikes were reported and believed to be carried out by Israel, adding that the target may have been the Imam Ali base in the area controlled by Iran. The base includes tunnels, buildings and warehouses built over the past two years at the site located near a strategic border crossing between Syria and Iraq.
On Friday, Iranian-made missiles were reportedly transported to the area through the Syrian-Iraqi border crossing.
Tensions are also high in the region in the aftermath of the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh just east of Tehran, which Iran blames on Israel, and the recent one-year anniversary of the US assassination of former IRGC Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani.
Fears that the US may return to the nuclear deal with Iran have also raised concerns, with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi stating last week that he had ordered operational plans to strike Iran’s nuclear program to be ready if necessary.
Iran has reportedly attempted to target Israeli embassies recently in response, with an explosion reported last week next to the one in New Delhi, carried out by a terror organization called Jaish-ul-Hind, believed to be affiliated with Iran.
On Monday, KAN news reported that a planned Iranian terrorist attack on an Israeli embassy in east Africa was recently thwarted.
Iran reportedly had sent agents to a country in east Africa to collect intelligence on the Israeli, American and UAE embassies in order to explore carrying out attacks against them. Some of the agents were European citizens with Iranian dual citizenship.
A number of the agents were reportedly arrested in the African country and in other countries. The attacks were reportedly meant to serve as revenge for the assassinations of Soleimani and Fakhrizadeh.
Reuters contributed to this report.