Other specific targets reportedly in Israel’s crosshairs included the Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) of Syria’s military industrial complex, staffed by dozens of scientists and engineers from several Iranian Defense Ministry-associated firms.
In a statement, SOHR said its activists heard explosions in the perimeter of Damascus international Airport, the Air-Defense Battalion in the Al-Dumayr district and other positions in the south-west of Homs Governorate, where ambulances were seen rushing to the targeted sites. Arsenals exploded in the al-Dumayr district 40 kilometers northeast of Damascus in the Rif Dimashq Governorate, said the organization, while other blasts in the Hama and Latakia Governorates were believed to be “due to air-defense systems which launched several surface-to-air missiles, attempting to intercept the Israeli rockets.”
SOHR noted that “regime forces and Iranian-backed militias were seen on high alert in the perimeter of Damascus international Airport for unknown reasons since early June.”
In addition, the group said it had documented the “death of a man ‘collaborating’ with the 4th Division and the Lebanese Hezbollah, succumbing to his wounds sustained in an IED explosion in al-Mu’alaqah village in al-Quneitra countryside” near the border with Israel’s side of the Golan Heights on 3 June, in which others were injured.
Western intelligence sources say Israel’s stepped-up strikes on Syria since last year are part of a shadow war approved by the United States. The campaign is viewed as part of an anti-Iran policy over the past 2 years that has succeeded in undermining the Islamic Republic’s extensive military power without sparking a major escalation in hostilities.
Intelligence sources cited by Reuters say that over the last year Israel has expanded its targets across Syria, where thousands of Iranian-backed militias have been involved in recapturing much of the territory Assad had lost to insurgents in the decade-old civil war.