Following Thursday’s night’s largescale airstrikes by Israeli fighter jets on areas in and around Damascus and in Homs province, Russia’s military leadership in Syria told international news agencies that six total Israeli jets conducted the aggression using Lebanon’s airspace.
Rear Adm. Vadim Kulit, head of the Russian military’s Reconciliation Center in Syria, further detailed that Syrian anti-air defenses successfully shot down a total of 22 out of 24 of the inbound missiles launched by the Israeli warplanes.
Residents in Damascus had observed the late night attacks continuing for about 15 minutes, suggesting that it was a major assault on a level not seen in many months, also given that through early August things were unusually quiet in terms of aggressive acts coming from Israel, compared to the almost weekly strikes of the first half of this year.
Specifically Adm. Kulit identified that the Russia-supplied air defense systems Pantsyr-S and Buk-M2 had been active during the situation.
The Friday Russian military assessment confirmed a SANA statement issued in the immediate aftermath of the attack, which said, “Our air defense tools have intercepted the missiles and downed most of them, and the aggression’s impact is being assessed now.”
However, at least one of the missiles appears to have struck a target near the border with Lebanon. Widely circulated social media videos showed a building on fire outside Damascus, which reports in Israeli media dubbed a “Hezbollah arms depot” – though with no confirmation of such.
State media footage of the late Thursday night attack showing a missile intercept over Damascus…
On Friday Syria urged the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary-General to condemn the continued Israeli attacks, with the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry sending an urgent letter.
The ministry condemned the acts of aggression which “come within the framework of the systematic and the ongoing criminal policies in a flagrant exchange of roles between all parties involved in the shedding of Syrian blood to prolong the terrorist war on Syria,” according to a summary of the letter’s contents in SANA.
Further the Syrian government highlighted that Israeli attacks serve to “raise the morale of terrorists, militants and criminals” as well as to support ongoing illegal occupations in the northeast and along the Syria-Turkey border by “the US army… and the Erdogan regime forces and their terrorist tools.”
All of this comes after the Russian military reportedly declared new ‘red lines’ concerning Israel’s hostile actions in Syria. London-based Asharq Al-Awsat caused a stir when in connection with a July 19 Israel attack in northern Aleppo area it cited a “well-informed Russian source” who said Russia “does not welcome the continuous Israeli raids” – a strong suggestion it plans to step up active support in assisting Syria toward repelling the raids.