Israeli strikes said to target Syria, blasts heard near Tel Aviv


IDF reportedly investigating if errant Syrian air defense missile caused blast near center of Israel; no injuries or damage reported

By TOI STAFFToday, 2:49 am  

Illustrative: In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows missiles flying into the sky near international airport, in Damascus, Syria on Jan. 21, 2019. (SANA via AP)

Illustrative: In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows missiles flying into the sky near international airport, in Damascus, Syria on Jan. 21, 2019. (SANA via AP)

Israeli planes carried out airstrikes near Damascus early Friday, Syrian state media claimed, and sounds of explosions were heard in central Israel shortly after.

It was not immediately clear if the two events were linked, but the Israeli military was reportedly investigating whether the explosions were the result of errant air defense missiles.

Syria reported that missiles fired from the direction of Lebanon targeted Damascus, but claimed most were shot down by its air defenses.

A short time later, residents near Tel Aviv reported hearing at least one blast.

The Israel Defense Forces said it was investigating the possibility that a Syria air defense missile that missed its target had landed in the area or off the coast, Hebrew language media reported.Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Editionby email and never miss our top storiesNewsletter email addressGET ITBy signing up, you agree to the terms

No sirens sounded and there were no reports of injuries or damage in Israel.

Syrian air defense missiles have in the past accidentally shot down a Russian military plane and have also reached Cyprus in error.

The IDF did not comment on the alleged strikes in Syria, as per its policy.

Video published by SANA purported to show an air defense missile being fired into the air. A blast could be heard shortly after.

The Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights reported that weapons development centers near Damascus used by Iran-backed militias had been targeted in the alleged Israeli strikes.

On August 19, Syria reported alleged Israeli airstrikes from the direction of Beirut.

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