Syrian state television has confirmed that Israel attacked a military base outside of Damascus overnight on Friday, which Israeli media reports involved both surface-to-surface missiles and airstrikes, while Syria says its air defense systems were engaged and intercepted two missiles.
Sources told Al Jazeera that the Israeli raid was aimed at government military sites and positions of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement and that the sound of large explosions caused by the raid was heard in Damascus and its surroundings.
Syria's state news agency SANA said the surface-to-surface missiles, which were fired shortly after midnight on December 1, caused material damage. Iran-backed Shi'ite militias, including Hezbollah, have helped Damascus regain control of swathes of the country. Israel does not, as a rule, comment on reported strikes in Syria.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recorded a video message for the upcoming Saban Forum in Washington.
"Let me reiterate Israel's policy: We will not allow a regime hell-bent on the annihilation of the Jewish state to acquire nuclear weapons". A recent report in a Kuwaiti newspaper included a statement from Israeli officials who said that the government had vowed to destroy any Iranian positions within 40 km of the northern border with Syria. The BBC published what it said were satellite images that it had commissioned that showed construction activity at the site between January and October this year.