Syria activates anti-aircraft defense for “Israeli aggression” (state press)

Syrian army air defense came into action on Monday following missile attacks launched by Israeli planes “against targets near the capital Damascus, the official Syrian news agency Sana reported.

The source did not specify the targets attacked shortly before dawn near Damascus, but claimed that the air defense “has shot down several missiles before they reach their targets.”

The agency referred to an “Israeli aggression” carried out from the airspace of neighboring Lebanon.

Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, in 2011, Israel has carried out numerous incursions against Syrian forces, but also against positions of its allies, Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah.

On April 20, the Sana news agency mentioned missile fire it attributed to Israel at targets in the Palmira desert.

The entity Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH, based in London) had claimed that the targets were “military posts of the Iranian militias”. These attacks killed three Syrian fighters and six other foreigners, according to the OSDH, although not without determining their nationalities.

On March 31, Sana reported missiles fired by Israeli planes at targets in central Syria.

Israel, which rarely confirms its operations on Syrian territory, regularly insists that it will not allow Syria to become a base of operations for Iran.

In recent months, attacks attributed to Israel have targeted positions in Syria where Iranian forces or Hezbollah fighters are stationed, according to the OSDH.

After erupting out of repression of pro-democracy protests, the conflict in Syria became more complex with the intervention of several foreign actors. More than 380,000 people died in that conflict.