Israeli jets carried out airstrikes near the Syrian capital Damascus on Thursday night for the second time in under a week, Syrian state media said.
“An Israeli air raid targeted certain positions near Damascus,” Syrian state news agency SANA said, without reporting any casualties or damage.
Syrian air defense systems fired at the attacking Israeli aircraft, and residents of the area heard and felt many explosions, SANA said.
Shortly before the Syrian media reports, Israelis near the northern border filmed Israeli Air Force jets flying overhead.
As a rule, Israel’s military does not comment on specific strikes in Syria, but has admitted to conducting hundreds of sorties against Iran-backed groups attempting to gain a foothold in the country. It says it also attacks arms shipments believed to be bound for those groups.
Local reports said explosions were seen near the town of Masyaf in the government-controlled Hama province. Photos posted to social media showed large plumes of smoke in the area.
The Masyaf area is thought to be used as a base for Iranian forces and pro-Iranian militias and has been repeatedly targeted in recent years in attacks attributed to Israel.
The area is also home to a facility belonging to the Scientific Studies and Research Center, known as CERS, which itself has been struck several times in the past.
Western officials have long associated CERS with the manufacture of chemical arms. According to the United States, sarin gas was developed at that center, a charge denied by the Syrian authorities.