Smoke rises past a mountain as seen from Damascus countryside, Syria, Dec 25, 2018. (Reuters)

July 27, 2021

The Russian Ministry of Defense said that the Syrian air defense forces thwarted, at dawn on Sunday, a strike carried out by two Israeli fighters against the Sayeda Zainab area, south of Damascus, which is known as the stronghold of Iran and its militias in Syria.

General Vadim Kulit, deputy chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria, told the Russian news agency TASS that two Israeli fighter jets were intercepted while attacking targets near Damascus early Sunday.

“From 05:40 am to 05:54 am, two F-16 tactical fighter jets of the Israeli Air Force, which stayed outside Syria’s airspace, delivered a strike, from the southwestern direction, with two guided missiles at facilities in the settlement of Sayeda Zainab in the Damascus governorate,” he said, adding that both missiles were downed by the Russian-made Buk-M2E systems of the Syria air defense units.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported, for its part, that a violent explosion hit separate areas of the Syrian capital, adding that the people heard the sound of a strong explosion and a cloud of smoke was seen in the air.

This is the third attempt by the Israeli forces to launch an air strike on Syrian territory this week. On July 19, Israeli warplanes launched eight missiles at sites in the Aleppo governorate, and on July 22, four missiles hit facilities in Homs.

Meanwhile, concerns mounted among the residents of the Druze-dominated Suweida region in southern Syria due to a leaked government document that spoke of an imminent ISIS attack as military reinforcements were being brought in to neighboring Daraa.

Activists in the region leaked a document by the Damascus police chief and addressed to the Syrian Minister of Interior, speaking of ISIS plans to infiltrate deep into Suweida to carry out terrorist operations.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.