The Syrian army command says its air defense systems have managed to intercept and destroy the biggest part of a “successive wave” of Israeli rockets fired at military bases in the Arab country.
The army spokesman said in a statement on state television on Thursday that the recent Israeli strikes had demolished a radar station and a weapons depot, without elaborating on the location of the targets.
The Israeli attacks on Syria also killed three people and wounded several others, according to the statement.
It further reaffirmed “the alertness of the army and readiness to defend the sovereignty of the homeland against any aggression,” stressing that attempts to support terrorism would prove futile.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Ministry said that Israel had used 28 planes in its Syria strikes and fired 70 missiles, adding that Damascus had shot down over half of the missiles.
In the early hours of Thursday, Israel attacked dozens of targets inside Syria in what was said to be the most extensive strike in the Arab country in decades.
The Tel Aviv regime claimed that its assault was a response to a barrage of 20 rockets that were fired from Syria at Israeli military outposts in the occupied Golan Heights. It also blamed the rocket fire on Iran.
Syrians unmoved by Israeli strikes
A video released by Reuters later on Thursday showed Syrian people shopping in a Damascus neighborhood says that they were not afraid after the heaviest Israeli strikes on the country since the foreign-backed militancy started.
One Damascus resident said they had stood on a roof to watch Syrian air defenses shoot down Israeli missiles and celebrate “our army’s achievements,” while a retired army officer was quoted by Reuters as saying that Syria should always respond when attacked “no matter what it costs.”
Russia alarmed by Syria escalation
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Thursday that Moscow was “concerned” about the recent escalation in Syria in the wake of the Israeli strikes.
“We have established contacts with all parties and we call for restraint from all parties,” he said. “The current … exchange of rocket fire is dangerous, as it distracts from the fight against Daesh terrorists, hampers the political settlement of the situation in Syria.”
Over the past few years, Israel has frequently attacked military targets in Syria in what is considered as an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy defeats against Syrian government forces.
Israel has been providing weapons to anti-Damascus militants as well as medical treatment to the Takfiri elements wounded in Syria.
On the contrary, Iran has been offering advisory military assistance to the Syrian government fighting an all-out foreign-sponsored militancy.