Israel strikes in Damascus; Syrian air defenses fail to respond

In second strike attributed to Israel in less than a week, Air Force fighters said to target Iranian advanced arms depots in Syrian capital

Yossi Yehoshua|
The Israeli Air Force carried out an airstrike on Iranian advanced arms depots in Damascus overnight Thursday, but Syrian air defense systems were not activated, Ynet has learned.
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This marks the second attack in Syria within a week. Overnight Sunday, a Syrian surface-to-air missile exploded over Israeli airspace after a failed attempt to intercept an incoming strike attributed to Israel. Debris was scattered over southern Israel, about 400 kilometers from the launch site in Tartus.
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Archival: Israeli-linked airstrike over Damascus, Syria
Archival: Israeli-linked airstrike over Damascus, Syria
Archival: Israeli-linked airstrike over Damascus, Syria
The blast rocked central and southern Israel. Subsequently, fighter jets targeted the battery that launched the missile, along with additional targets in the area.
Syrian state news agency SANA reported that the country’s air defenses were activated against Israeli airstrikes in Tartus and Homs. The report claimed that the air defenses managed to shoot down several missiles in the Homs region.
Iran has been actively involved in transferring advanced air defense systems to both Syria and Hezbollah. Tensions have been on the rise along the northern border, as rockets were fired from Lebanon toward Israel earlier Thursday. In response, the Israeli Defense Forces swiftly retaliated with a series of artillery strikes.
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עשן בכפר שובא בדרום לבנון
עשן בכפר שובא בדרום לבנון
Smoke plume billowing over southern Lebanon Thursday morning
(Photo: AFP)
Reuters reported that "[t]wo rockets were fired from southern Lebanon" toward Israel, "one of them landing in Lebanese territory and the second near a disputed area at the border," after an explosion was heard in the border area Thursday morning and two plumes of smoke were sighted several hundred feet apart from each other.
The firing was carried out by short-range mortar fire, which went undetected by air defenses. The IDF did detect the explosions and initially suspected an explosive device or mine detonation on the Lebanese side of the border. However, after examining the debris on the ground, it was determined that a mortar shell had fallen within Israeli territory near the security fence.
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