Blasts heard near Damascus, Israeli airstrikes reported
Date: 2018-11-30 09:09
Assad’s air defense claimed it shot down an Israeli war plane and four missiles on Thursday (Nov. 29), RIA news agency said, citing an Assad regime security source, but Israel said the report was bogus.
The source said the missiles aimed at the town of Kiswah, south of the capital Damascus, were struck before they reached their targets that Syrian opposition sources said were Iranian-backed strongholds.
The area where the incident is said to have occurred is where Hezbollah has its communications and logistics hub for southern Syria near the Israeli border, according to two senior regional intelligence sources.
Among the targets struck were two Assad army brigades where Hezbollah group is embedded alongside a rocket depot close to its bases near the border with Lebanon, another Assad army defector in touch with military personnel said.
Israel is concerned that the growing Iranian presence in Syria poses a threat to its own security and has struck dozens of Iranian and Iran-backed positions in Syria over the course of the country’s seven-year war.
The Israel Defence Forces said in a statement on Twitter: “In the course of Syrian ground-to-air missile fire, Israeli air defenses sighted a single trajectory toward an open area of the Golan Heights.”
“At this stage it remains unclear whether there was indeed an impact in our territory. Our forces are scouring the area. Furthermore, the report about a strike on an Israeli aircraft or an Israeli aerial target are bogus,” said the statement.
Earlier, Assad regime media said Assad air defenses shot down “hostile targets” flying over the town of Kiswah and “were able to foil its goals” despite the “intensity of the aggression.”
Opposition sources say Hezbollah now plays a commanding role in the Quneitra province that neighbors Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, where it is believed to be training allied militias and hundreds of former opposition fighters.
The sources said this was the first major attack since Israel scaled down its attacks in Syria after the accidental shooting down of a Russian surveillance plane over two months ago.
Based on Reuters