Rocket sirens sounded in and near Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel, as Syrian state media reported an alleged Israeli airstrike near Damascus on Tuesday night. The IDF confirmed that an anti-aircraft missile fired from Syria set off the sirens and that the missile exploded mid-air.
Shrapnel from an air defense missile fell on a residential building in the city of Qudsaya near Damascus, according to Syrian reports. No injuries were reported in the incident.
صور تداولها سُكان من مدينة #قدسيا لسقوط صاروخ دفاع جوي بعد انطلاقه بلحظات من إحدى الثكنات العسكرية في سفح #قاسيون، ليصيب بناء سكني بالقرب من مدرسة باسل الأسد #صوت_العاصمة #وريا #دمشق #ريف_دمشق pic.twitter.com/3U0yhxdZz2— صوت العاصمة (@damascusv011) February 8, 2022
The IDF confirmed early Wednesday morning that it hit Syrian air defense sites in response to the anti-aircraft missile which flew into Israeli airspace. The targets included a Syrian radar and air defense batteries.
A military source told the Syrian state news agency SANA that airstrikes were launched from over Lebanon on Tuesday night, followed by an attack by surface-to-surface missiles fired from the Golan Heights targeting sites near Damascus. The source added that Syrian air defenses intercepted some of the Israeli missiles and that authorities are examining the results of the attack.
Ambulances were heard in some neighborhoods of Damascus after the airstrikes, according to the Syrian Capital Voice site. The strikes reportedly targeted sites belonging to the Assad regime and Iranian militias.
According to SANA, a Syrian soldier and five civilians were killed in the airstrike in Syria.
One of the sites targeted was the Scientific Studies and Research Center in Jamraya, according to the Capital Voice. A large explosion was reported at the site after it was hit, according to the report.
The Jamraya area is home to a number of Syria's most strategic military sites, and the research center there is the country's highest profile one, according to the BBC which noted that the site is close to the Lebanese border, making it easier to transfer weapons to Lebanon. A range of weapons and military equipment, including chemical weapons, are reportedly developed and stored at the site, according to a report by the Syrian Archive, Open Society Justice Initiative and ArcticWind.
A site near the 104th Brigade of the Republican Guard near Damascus was also targeted, according to the Capital Voice. The report added that a large amount of air defense missiles were fired from a number of batteries in multiple locations belonging to Syria and Iran during the strikes.
This is not the first time that a Syrian air defense missile flew into Israel. In April, a Syrian air defense missile fell near Dimona after it was fired towards IAF jets during an alleged Israeli airstrike targeted Syria. In September, a Syrian air defense missile exploded off the coast of Tel Aviv, with shrapnel found within the city.
The strike on Tuesday night was the second alleged Israeli airstrike reported in Syria this year.
The airstrike comes a little over a week after an alleged Israeli airstrike targeted sites near Damascus, causing some material damage. According to the opposition-affiliated Halab Today TV, the strikes targeted sites belonging to the Assad regime near Al-Qutayfah, northeast of Damascus, causing injuries and material damage.
A series of cargo flights on airlines used to transport Iranian weapons have traveled between Iran and Syria in recent weeks, according to independent flight trackers.
Last week, an Iranian cargo vessel called the Parnia docked at the Latakia port in northwest Syria, according to the open-source intelligence social media account Intelli Times. The port was targeted by two Israeli airstrikes in December.