At Least 3 Syrian Soldiers Killed After Air Defenses Engage Israeli Strikes - State Media
23:28 GMT 23.02.2022 (Updated: 17:25 GMT 15.01.2023)
© AP Photo / Hassan AmmarIn this July 15, 2018 file photo, a Syrian national flag with a picture of Syrian President Bashar Assad flies at an Army check point, in the town of Douma in the eastern Ghouta region, near Damascus, Syria.
© AP Photo / Hassan Ammar
Several explosions were reportedly heard in Damascus, Syria, early Thursday morning as air defense systems of the Syrian Arab Army forces engaged hostile targets over the capital city.
The Syrian Arab News Agency and other local outlets have confirmed fighter jet activity and several explosions over Damascus.
At least three Syrian soldiers were reportedly killed in the strike, per Syrian state television. Material losses have also been reported.
A military source has since disclosed that the SAA's engagement began around 1:10 a.m., local time, in response to Israeli military aggression targeting a direction north of Lake Tiberias. Most of the missiles were downed by air defenses.
Early reports immediately tied alleged airstrikes to Israeli forces.
2 of #IAF-launched 🇮🇱 missiles were intercepted by the SAA AD, as per @AndrewBritani #Syria #Israel pic.twitter.com/cIsuzVXUnm— Aleph א (@no_itsmyturn) February 23, 2022
As of 1:32 a.m., local time, the strikes had reportedly concluded.
Additional footage reportedly shows different perspectives of SAA air defenses engaging targets early Thursday morning.
Syrian AD confront Israeli missiles in the sky of Damascus pic.twitter.com/kJBpzpc4lr— Spriter (@spriter99880) February 23, 2022
the Syrian air defense confronting hostile targets-Damascus pic.twitter.com/gvqC4DbUHE— Middle East Paper 🇮🇷🇵🇸🇸🇾🇾🇪 (@MEPaper1090) February 24, 2022
Israeli missiles may have been targeting Zakiyah or Al-Kiswah, two areas in the Syrian Governate of Rif Dimashq, according to initial reports.
The town of Zakiyah was recently targeted by Tel Aviv in a nighttime surface-to-surface missile strike approximately one week ago, according to the Syrian government. Although material damage was reported, no injuries or deaths accompanied what is thought to be an Israeli missile strike.
© Google MapsSyrian town of Zakiyah, Rif Dimashq.
Syrian town of Zakiyah, Rif Dimashq.
© Google Maps
The Israeli missile strike came hours after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with Russia's defense minister in Damascus.
Prior to that, approximately four F-16 Israeli fighter jets fired missiles at targets near the city of Al-Kiswa, just 8 miles (13 kilometers) from Damascus. One Syrian soldier was killed and another five were injured in the February 9 missile attack.
According to Rear Adm. Oleg Zhuravlev, deputy head of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of Warring Parties in Syria, Israeli forces fired at least 10 surface-to-surface missiles from the Golan Heights, targeting SAA defense units.