Photo Credit: USAF Staff Sgt. Brian J. Valencia
F-16 Fighting Falcon (Suffa)

Syrian air defense forces at Mezzeh Military Airport say they engaged “hostile missiles” in the southwestern part of Damascus province late Thursday night local time, as reports of powerful explosions heard over the Syrian capital by numerous residents in the area, flooded social media.

Initial reports from Syria said the attack was believed to be targeting the Al-Kisweh area near Quneitra Governorate, according to Al-Masdar News.

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Several reports claimed the air strikes were being carried out by “Israeli warplanes” or an “Israeli UAV or fighter jet,” aiming at a site belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps in western Damascus.

One report quoted Israeli military sources as saying the Israel Air Force had “no operation” on Thursday night.

However, numerous other reports differed: Three missiles and one unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) were allegedly shot down by Syrian air defenses, according to Syrian activist Wael al-Russia, Sputnik reported. Syrian state media outlet SANA allegedly confirmed the downing of an “enemy target” in western Damascus.

Syrian military sources were quoted by Sputnik as saying they shot down two Israeli reconnaissance drones to the west of Damascus.

There has been no comment from the Israeli government.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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