Israel air strike reported near Damascus. Syrian air-defense missile explodes in sea off Tel Aviv

A purported Israeli air strike targeted pro-Iranian militias and munitions depots in the Damascus region after midnight Thursday, Aug. 2, following which strong offshore explosions rattled central Israeli coastal towns from Netanyahu south to Tel Aviv. The military later reported that a missile fired by a Syrian air defense battery had exploded over the sea. The incident did not trigger the alert system.

Damascus claimed that Israel had staged another overnight raid from Lebanon and that its air defense batteries had intercepted most of the incoming missiles. Nonetheless there was substantial damage to property, though no casualties.

DEBKAfile’s military sources say a Syrian air defense missile would have been aimed at the airspace of central Israel in three circumstances:

  1. In response to an alleged Israeli strike over Syria.
  2. An attempt to hit Israeli planes on their return flight home from a purported air strike over Syria.
  3. In either case, the missile explosion near the Tel Aviv coastline was a calculated act by Damascus – no errant missile
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