Syrian air defenses in the central province of Homs opened fire Tuesday night on missiles launched from what state media claimed were Israeli warplanes.
Syrian State TV said the warplanes fired the missiles while flying in Lebanese airspace. The outlet said the warplanes targeted a Syrian army position without saying where exactly. It said some of the missiles had been shot down, though Syrian media has been known to make such claims falsely.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), an opposition war monitor, said Israeli warplanes fired eight missiles at al-Shayrat air base in Homs province. It said explosions were heard and believed to have been caused by anti-aircraft defenses while intercepting these strikes, but gave no further details.
There was no immediate comment from Israel.
If the target was al-Shayrat base it would be the second time this month that the Israel Defense Forces has reportedly struck the site which is said to be used by Iran as a forward base for bringing weapons into the country.
On March 5, according to Syrian opposition sources, a series of Israeli airstrikes targeted four Hezbollah-linked sites in central and southern Syria.
SOHR said the Israeli attack targeted two military airports near the city of Homs in western-central Syria — al-Shayrat and al-Dabaa — as well as two locations in the area of Quneitra, across from Israel’s Golan Heights.
Syria often reports violations of its airspace, which it frequently attributes to the Israeli Air Force. Tel Aviv occasionally admits to carrying out some of these air raids, claiming that it targets Iranian military forces allegedly stationed in the country, despite both Tehran and Damascus denying their presence.
Syrian air defences have intercepted Israeli missiles flying through the airspace above the city of Homs, Syria’s SANA news agency reported. The agency added that none of the missiles succeeded in reaching their targets as a result.
Damascus has not officially commented on SANA's report.
Prior to the attack, Lebanon’s Sham FM reported that Israeli jets were spotted flying low above the country's Kesrouan province, which lies on the way between the territory of Israel and the Syrian city of Homs. Alleged witnesses claim that the jets fired missiles while travelling through Lebanese airspace.
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