Syria Blames Israel for Missile Attack, Second Day in a Row


People inspect damage after an early morning Israeli airstrike in the capital city of Damascus, Syria, Feb. 19. (AP Photo/Omar Sanadiki)

Israel staged airstrikes on suburbs of the Syrian capital of Damascus early Friday for the second day in a row, the SANA state news agency reported. It gave no word on any casualties.

Loud explosions were heard over the Syrian capital shortly after midnight Thursday, according to residents in the capital and SANA. The airstrikes came after similar attacks early Thursday. The agency said Syrian air defenses were “confronting hostile targets.” SANA said some of the missiles were shot down by the air defenses.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the strikes targeted arms depots for government forces and Iran-backed groups just south of Damascus.

Israel is thought to have carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years, including attacks on the Damascus and Aleppo airports, but rarely acknowledges specific operations. Israel says it targets bases of Iran-allied groups, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

An alleged Israeli airstrike last week targeting the airport at the northern city of Aleppo put it out of commission for two days.

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