Photo Credit: SANA / screen capture
Missile intercepted by Syrian aerial defense at Damascus International Airport

The official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported late Sunday night that Israel fired missiles from the direction of the Golan Heights, targeting an area in the vicinity of Damascus.

“Syrian air defenses intercepted an Israeli missiles aggression on Sunday over Damascus and shot down most of them.

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“A military source announced that at 10:16 p.m. on Sunday, the Israeli enemy launched an air aggression from the direction of the Occupied Syrian Golan and targeted some posts in the vicinity of Damascus, adding that the Syrian Air defenses intercepted the hostile missiles and shot down most of them,” SANA reported.

Hebrew-language news correspondent Amichai Stein at Israel’s Kan News public broadcasting station said in a post on Twitter the reported Israeli airstrike in Syria is a response to an Iranian attack on an Israeli ship near the Gulf of Oman this weekend.

“Israel is now retaliating over the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ attack at a Helios Ray in Oman Sea,” Middle East defense analyst Babak Taghvaee wrote on his Twitter feed. “Multiple cruise missiles launched by F-16 … fighter jets of the Israel Air Force just hit multiple targets in Damascus.

“The Syria Arab Air Defense Force failed again to foil this attack,” Taghvaee added. A video clip of one of the missile strikes is shown below.

Taghvaee added in a subsequent tweet, “According to #Israeli military sources, the airstrike of #Israel Air Force at the #Damascus tonight had aimed to kill #IRGC Quds Force personnel & militias in retaliation of the #IRGCNavy’s attack at #HeliosRay three days ago! So, high casualty can be expected!”

Israel Vows ‘Appropriate Response’ After Iran Releases Proof of Missile Damage to MV Helios Ray

According to Middle East political analyst Eva J. Koulouriotis, “a source confirmed [to her] that they heard more than five explosions, one of which was in the direction of Damascus International Airport and its environs, which is the area of influence of the Quds Force of Iran.” Preliminary information confirmed that they targeted a number of military sites in the vicinity of the Syrian capital, Koulouriotis wrote.

Sources in the IDF told the Belaaz news outlet the attack was “Israel’s response to the attack on the Israeli ship in the Gulf of Oman last week.” A second source agreed, saying Israeli analysts were commenting the late-night strikes in Syria could be the response to the Iranian attack in the Gulf of Oman.

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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.