File photo: Syrian Air defences respond to Israeli missiles targeting south of the capital Damascus, on July 20, 2020. AFP
Loud explosions were heard over the Syrian capital around 1:30 a.m., and the SANA state news agency said Syrian air defenses were “confronting hostile targets.” SANA, quoting an unidentifed military official, said some missiles were shot down by the air defenses.
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years, including attacks on the Damascus and Aleppo airports, but it rarely acknowledges specific operations.
Israel says it targets bases of Iran-allied militant groups, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.
An Israeli airstrike last week targeting the airport at the northern city of Aleppo put it out of commission for two days.
Along with airports, Israel has also targeted seaports in government-held areas in an apparent attempt to prevent what they say are Iranian arms shipments to militant groups backed by Tehran, including Hezbollah.