Air defense batteries are shown in January 2019 responding to what Syrian state media said were Israeli airstrikes targeting Damascus. (Stringer/AFP via Getty Images)

Syria Blames Israel for Multiple Nighttime Airstrikes

Syria is accusing the Israeli military of staging numerous airstrikes against its territory overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday. A Syrian Defense Ministry statement said only that the country’s air defense systems were activated. Israel has issued no reaction to the claims. News reports have cited various sources, including a war monitoring group and a “senior Syrian military defector,” as tying the targets to Iran. The Syrian military mentioned airstrikes in the northwestern part of the country, as well as in the east, near the borders with Iraq and, farther to the south, Jordan. It mentioned two soldiers as having been killed, and four wounded, without saying whose soldiers they were. Israel has on occasion acknowledged being behind airstrikes against targets in Syria, usually linking them to the Iranian military or Tehran’s proxies, which have been in Syria assisting President Bashar al-Assad in a more-than nine-year civil war. Even when remaining mum about specific attacks, the Israelis have made it clear that they reserve the right to strike Iranian targets, saying they cannot allow Iran to operate militarily so close to the Jewish state.

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