The Syrian Arab Air Defense Forces (SyAADF) shot down 22 missiles fired by Israel during the recent strikes on central Syria, Rear Adm. Vadim Kulit, deputy head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria, announced on August 20.
“The Syrian air defense on duty destroyed 22 missiles from the Russian-made Buk-M2E and Pantsir-S systems,” Kulit said.
The Israeli strikes, which were launched from Lebanon’s airspace late on August 19, hit several targets near the Syrian capital, Damascus, as well as in the southern countryside of Homs. There was no immediate reaction from Tel Aviv, which rarely comments on its military operations in Syria.
The Lebanese government condemned the strikes and lodged a complaint against Israel for violating its airspace at the United Nations.
According to Kulit, there are no casualties among the Syrian military personnel as a result of the Israeli strikes. Civilian and non-government causalities were, however, reported.
In the town of Qarah, near Damascus, four civilians were killed and three others were wounded. Two pro-government fighters from Homs, who were allegedly linked to Hezbollah, were also killed in an unspecified area.
Kulit’s announcement was not a suprise. A recent report by the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper revealed that Russian has been working to restrict Israel’s attacks on Syria by improving the capabilities of the SyAADF.
The August 19 strikes on central Syria were a part of Israel’s “War-Between-Wars” military campaign. The campaign is meant to push Iran and its allies out of Syria as well as to prevent them from developing their offensive capabilities. None of these goals have been achieved, yet.
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