Damascus/Jerusalem: Syrian media have accused Israel of carrying out attacks near capital Damascus. The Syrian army or media did not provide details on the extent of damage caused by the attack. However, Israeli media are claiming that their country has targeted Iranian military bases in Damascus. Also, the media have reported that Israel has taken action in response to the explosion on its cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman last week.
On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for the mysterious explosion on the cargo ship Helios Ray. In an interview with an Israeli news outlet, Netanyahu said, “Iran is the greatest enemy of Israel. I’m determined to block it, we’re striking at it throughout the Middle East.” The Israeli prime minister declined to reveal the exact location of where Israel had taken action against Iran.
Only hours before the interview, Syrian media had accused Israel of launching airstrikes near capital Damascus on Sunday night. The Syrian army stated that several missiles were intercepted due to the timely activation of the air defence systems. The military had claimed that they had successfully repelled Israeli airstrikes in the past as well.
Nevertheless, human rights groups in Syria had released a statement saying that Iranian and pro-Iranian militants were killed in the Israeli airstrikes. Therefore, the Sunday attack is likely to have claimed a significant number of casualties. Just as it has in the past, the Israeli military has refused to comment on the Syrian media reports. On Sunday morning, however, a special meeting of Israel’s security committee was held. Israeli media has claimed that the meeting discussed responding to the explosion on an Israeli-owned cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman.
Meanwhile, Iranian leaders have been saying for the past two days that the country is not behind the mysterious explosion on the Israeli ship Helios Ray. However, a newspaper affiliated with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, who is the country’s highest political authority, acknowledged that Iran had attacked the Israeli ship. Moreover, the Iranian daily has said the attack was carried out in response to attacks on Iran and Iran-backed groups in Syria and Iraq.