Syria’s air defenses engaged “hostile targets” over the capital of Damascus, state-run media said late Thursday. Residents reported loud explosions that rocked the city shortly before midnight.
State news agency SANA quoted reports saying Syrian air defenses intercepted a number of missiles.
It said the missiles approached from the southwest over the Golan Heights. No further details were immediately available nor was it clear what was hit.
A video carried by SANA showed what appeared to be Syrian air defenses firing over Damascus.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war, said seven people were killed in the attack of suspected Israeli missiles that targeted posts for Iranian-backed militias in the area between the Damascus international airport and the Sayeda Zeinab neighborhood, south of the capital.
The Observatory said some of the missiles hit their targets. It didn’t say whether there were any casualties.
On Wednesday Iran vowed to deliver a crushing response to any Israeli action against its interests.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran will give a crushing response that will cause regret to any kind of aggression or stupid action from this regime against our country's interests in Syria and the region," ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.
The unusual statement came after a plane belonging to the Revolutionary Guard Corps took off from Tehran to Damascus.
The plane had been out of commission for the past six months after it was damaged in a June 2019 airstrike on Syria attributed to Israel. Shortly before the Boeing 747 cargo plane landed in Damascus, Iranian officials accused Israel of carrying out attacks against military forces in Syria that are allied with Tehran.
At least 23 people were killed in Syria in a pre-dawn raid attributed to Israel last week, according to the London-based Observatory for Human Rights, three of the victims were reported to have been Iranian nationals.
Israel does not usually comment on reports concerning its airstrikes in neighboring Syria, though it has frequently attacked what it says are Iranian targets there.
Iranian-backed fighters, including those of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group, have joined Syria’s war and are fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government forces.
First published: 07:15, 02.14.20