Syrian Media Says Air Defences Have Intercepted Israeli Attack as Explosions Heard Over Homs, Tartus
18:01 GMT 08.11.2021 (Updated: 18:49 GMT 08.11.2021)
Israel has launched hundreds of air and missile strikes into Syria in recent years, claiming to target "Iranian" or "Iranian-backed" forces seeking to establish a foothold in the war-torn country. Damascus has blasted Tel Aviv over the aggression, and stressed its sovereign right to invite whatever foreign forces it wants to help fight terrorism.
Israel launched airstrikes against Syria from the direction of Beirut, Lebanon on Monday evening, targeting areas in the regions of Homs and Tartus, a military source told
the Syrian Arab News Agency.
The source said Syria's air defences engaged the missiles and brought most of them down before they could reach their targets.
The army reported that two of its servicemen were injured in the attacks, with some damage to ground infrastructure also caused. The attack was said to have taken place at 7:16 in the evening local time.
Unauthenticated amateur footage of the battles in the skies showed bright flashes of light illuminating the night as Syrian air defence missiles tracked down and intercepted the Israeli projectiles.
One video showed a bright explosion on the ground after a missile appeared to have reached its target, with a man filming and children heard screaming in terror in the background after the sound of the blast reached them.
Israel regularly launches attacks on Syria through Lebanon, banking on the fact that Syria's air defence troops are reluctant to launch anti-air interceptor missiles into its neighbour's airspace and threatening commercial aviation that may be operating nearby.
Monday's strikes follow an attack last Wednesday
in the Damascus countryside. Syria also reported
intercepting Israel missiles in the Damascus countryside on 30 October, with two soldiers injured and material damage caused in that strike. Syria used
its Russian-made Buk-M2E missile systems to drop most of the aggressor's missiles from the skies in that act of aerial aggression.
In mid-October, the Russian military accused
Israel of carrying out a separate strike in Homs near the ancient city of Palmyra under the cover of two civilian aircraft. A high-ranking Israeli military officer assured Sputnik
that the IDF has "a mechanism to minimize risks," and does "not use the movement of civililan aircraft as an advantage."
14 October 2021, 19:06 GMT
Regular Israeli air attacks are just one of the major security problems afflicting Syria. Part of the country remains occupied by Turkish and US forces, and the nation faces crushing US and European sanctions aimed at strangulating its economy and preventing Damascus from rebuilding from a bloody, foreign-backed civil conflict which began in 2011. The country's northeastern regions, rich in oil, gas and food, are occupied by the Americans together with their Syrian Kurdish militia allies, depriving the once energy and food-self sufficient nation of its status as such.
Syrian President Bashar Assad, who survived against all odds against the rag-tag collection of tens of thousands of jihadist fighters and 'moderate rebels' flooding into Syria since 2011, has vowed to one day restore control over the entirety of the country, including the Israeli-occuped Golan Heights, and has stated repeatedly that all foreign forces not explicitly invited into the Arab Republic must leave its soil immediately.