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23 Feb 2020 | 08:15 PM UTC

Syria: Israel targets Palestinian Islamic Jihad positions near Damascus February 24 /update 5

Israel Defense Forces confirm airstrikes targeting Palestinian Islamic Jihad positions near Damascus on February 24; further exchange of fire possible over the coming hours

security
SYR

Event

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed at around 01:00 (local time) on Monday, February 24, that it targeted Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) positions in Rif Dimashq in the previous hours in response to the PIJ's launching of rockets across the Israeli-Gazan border on Sunday, February 23. The IDF said that it had targeted a weapons factory in al-Adleyeh (Rif Dimashq). Palestinian media outlets report that two PIJ militants were killed in the attack, while Syrian state media said that it had intercepted most of the Israeli missiles. 

Additional airstrikes and anti-aircraft fire from Syrian forces are possible around Damascus over the coming hours. 

Context

The Israeli military has struck more than 200 targets in Syria over the past two years, many of which have been arms depots and military facilities allegedly receiving arms and fighters from Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah group.

Advice

Individuals in Damascus and Rif Dimashq are advised to monitor developments, seek shelter, avoid nonessential travel and affected areas, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.

Due to extremely poor security conditions, Western governments generally advise against all travel to Syria, with some banning travel to the country. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to any travel to Syria.