DAMASCUS — At least three huge explosions were heard in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Friday, according to a Reuters’ report.
The Syrian air defenses confronted an “Israeli aggression” over Damascus, Syrian state media reported, without providing details if there were any casualties or damages.
Israel conducted air strikes over the Syrian capital on Friday morning at 00:17 a.m. (2117 GMT), according to Syrian state media quoting a military source.
“Syrian air defenses intercepted the missiles and shot down a number of them,” the source said, saying the aggression caused some material damage. No other information about casualties was provided.
“The air attacks came from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, targeting a site in the Damascus countryside,” the source added.
Pentagon: Six U.S. troops suffer traumatic brain injuries in Syria
On Thursday, in another development, six U.S. troops in Syria suffered traumatic brain injuries during two attacks last week by Iran-backed militants, according to the Pentagon, adding they were diagnosed during routine screenings in recent days.
The disclosure further raises the human toll among American forces from strikes and counter-strikes in Syria last week to a total of 12 U.S. troops wounded. The attacks also killed an American contractor and injured another.
Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said four service members suffered traumatic brain injuries at the U.S. base near the Syrian city of Hasaka during a drone attack on March 23. Two others suffered injuries at mission support site Green Village during an attack on March 24.
“All personnel in the vicinity of a blast are screened for traumatic brain injury,” Ryder told a news briefing. “So these additional injuries were identified during post-attack medical screenings.”
The Pentagon also estimated eight militants were killed during retaliatory U.S. air strikes against two Iran-linked facilities in Syria.
Ryder said the militants killed were not believed to be Iranian, but were associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
On Friday, President Biden warned Iran that the United States would act forcefully to protect Americans.
The White House said on Monday that the incidents would not trigger a U.S. pullback from its nearly 8-year-old deployment to Syria, where it is battling the remnants of ISIS.
This is not the first time U.S. troops in the region have been diagnosed with brain injuries from attacks.
In 2020, more than 100 U.S. troops were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries stemming from a missile attack by Iran against a base in Iraq.
Syria’s foreign ministry has condemned last week’s U.S. strikes, saying Washington had lied about what was targeted and pledging on Sunday to “end the American occupation” of its territory.
Iran’s foreign ministry accused U.S. forces of targeting “civilian sites.”