An Israeli official confirmed that the IDF was the party that carried out an attack outside Damascus Tuesday night – and satellite footage released Thursday further confirms that an attack took place at the sites the Israeli official told the Associated Press Israel had attacked. The sites include several warehouses where Iranian weapons and supplies were stored, and the satellite images show that several structures at a military base west of Damascus that had been there a few days ago were now destroyed.
The images were taken by a European security satellite and published by ImageSat. The images are of what the company terms an Iranian base in the 4th Division Camp, West Damascus. The company said that the structure was a rocket storehouse, where Iranian Fajr-5 rockets were being kept. The structure, 60 by 15 meters (about 8,000 square feet) large, “is completely destroyed,” the company said.
In its report, AP quoted the Israeli official as confirming the attack, deflecting claims on Wednesday by Syria that no attack had taken place. According to media reports, Israeli planes carried out a major bombing mission in southern Syria overnight Tuesday, targeting military installations. Among the targets of the Israeli bombing were said to be several leaders of Hezbollah, but Lebanese sources denied this. The Al-Medean newspaper quoted Hezbollah sources as saying that “the Syrian defense system were able to withstand the aggression in the rural areas west of Damascus. Israeli media sources said that Israel had fired a defensive missile at a rocket that was fired at Chadera. The Israeli sources also reported that Hezbollah leaders were injured or killed in this attack, but that is incorrect.” The report also quoted the Syrian news agency Sana as saying that “Syrian air defenses provided the proper response and destroyed over the skies of Damascus the hostile missiles. The attack was conducted from the territory of Lebanon. Several targets were hit.”
Russia, meanwhile, said that the Israeli operation “endangered two civilian aircraft” that were flying near the Damascus airport Tuesday night. In a statement, Moscow confirmed Syria’s claims that it had repelled the Israeli attack, saying that Syrian anti-missile defense systems destroyed 14 to 16 Israeli missiles before they could fall, and called the Israeli attack “a provocation.” In response, the Israeli source said that Russia had clearly been the one to violate understandings, as the mission made clear that Iran was still operating in the area of the Israeli border, even though Moscow had promised to force Iran to stop doing so.
Israel has not commented on the attacks nor taken responsibility for them, but the IDF said that Syria had apparently fired a missile at Israel, after loud noises were also heard Tuesday night in the area of Chadera, Caesarea and Zichron Yaakov. In a statement, the IDF said that Israel had activated its air-defense system against a missile launched from Syria. There was no damage or casualties to Israeli forces or civilians.