The Russian military says Syrian air defense units intercepted most of the missiles fired during a recent Israeli raid on the capital Damascus, shooting down 21 projectiles during the attack launched from the Lebanese airspace.
“At about 1:30 September 3, four Israeli Air Force F-15 tactical fighters fired 24 guided missiles at targets in the Syrian Arab Republic from Lebanese airspace,” Rear Admiral Vadim Kulit, deputy head of Russia’s Reconciliation Center for Syria, said in a statement.
He noted that Russian-made Buk-M2E and Pantsir-S1 medium-range surface-to-air missile systems, which are in service with the Syrian Armed Forces, managed to destroy 21 missiles at the time.
Syria’s official news agency, citing a military source, reported that Israeli aircraft fired several missiles from the direction of Lebanon at areas in the vicinity of Damascus at 1:26 a.m. local time on Friday (2226 GMT Thursday), but most of the projectiles were intercepted and destroyed before hitting any of their targets.
A short time later, residents of Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan and the surrounding area in the occupied territories heard at least one blast, Israeli Hebrew language media outlets reported.
The Israeli military said it was investigating whether the blasts were caused by a Syrian surface-to-air missile (SAM) that might have been launched at an incoming Israeli missile and then flown into the occupied lands and landed somewhere near Tel Aviv.
Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has condemned the Israeli regime’s attack on Syrian territories, saying the Tel Aviv regime’s ongoing acts of aggression will not affect the Arab nation’s resolve in the fight against terrorism.
“In the framework of the Israeli occupation authorities’ continuation of their policies and terrorist crimes against the sovereignty of the countries in the region, and their continued violation of Security Council resolutions related to the crisis in Syria, on Friday dawn the Israeli enemy carried out an air aggression on the Syrian lands from the direction of the south eastern side of Beirut, targeting the surroundings of Damascus,” the ministry wrote in identical letters addressed to the UN Secretary General António Guterres and president of the Security Council Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
It added that the government in Damascus held Israel accountable for the crimes, affirming that the repeated Israeli attacks would not deter it from fulfilling its constitutional duty to continue the fight against the terrorist groups.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.
Israel frequently targets military positions inside Syria, especially those of the resistance movement Hezbollah which has played a key role in helping the Syrian army in its fight against the foreign-backed terrorists.
The Tel Aviv regime mostly keeps quiet about its attacks on Syrian territories which many view as knee-jerk reaction to Syrian government’s increasing success in confronting terrorism.
Israel has been a main supporter of terrorist groups that have opposed the government of President Bashar al-Assad since foreign-backed militancy erupted in Syria nine years ago.