MOSCOW, May 5 (RIA Novosti) – Israel carried out early on Sunday a missile attack on a military research center outside the Syrian capital, Damascus, the official Syrian news agency SANA reported.
Syrian state television has broadcast video footage showing a series of large explosions around the Jamraya research center, which is located about 15 kilometers (10 miles) from the Lebanese border.
"Initial reports point to these explosions being a result of Israeli missiles that targeted the research center in Jamraya,” SANA said.
The Jamraya facility was a target of an Israeli airstrike on Syria in January. Syria protested that attack in the United Nations and warned that the internal conflict is spilling over the borders, threatening security in the region.
Israeli officials have so far refused to comment on allegations of the Sunday strike, which, if confirmed, would be the second Israeli attack on Syria in the last three days.
An airstrike on Friday reportedly hit a warehouse near Damascus international airport, where a shipment of weapons for the Lebanese Hezbollah militia has allegedly been held.
Top Israeli officials have repeatedly expressed their concern that sophisticated weapons from the Syrian stockpiles may end up in the hands of Hezbollah, a relentless foe of the Israeli state.
The Syrian conflict, which started in March 2011 with peaceful protests demanding reforms, has gradually turned into a civil war in response to the government’s military crackdown on the protesters.
More than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict, according to the United Nations, and the death toll is growing every day as the fierce fighting between government troops and rebels continues
In addition, the UN Refugee Agency estimates the number of persons displaced by the conflict at 1.3 million people, with almost 1.1 million officially registered and some 250,000 awaiting registration.