Israeli Air Force planes launched two strikes on Hezbollah and Syrian army targets overnight Friday, Lebanese and Syrian media reports. According to the reports, which were not confirmed by Israel, the strikes occurred in al-Qalamoun in the suburbs of Damascus, Joinfo.ua reports with the reference to Ynetnews
According to news site Syria Direct, associated with opposition forces, Israeli aircraft flew along the Lebanese border into Syrian airspace. The reliability of the report was not immediately clear.
Similar reports with slightly different accounts were posted on several social media accounts associated with opposition forces. A small number of accounts linked to the Syrian regime and Hezbollah claimed that an attack was launched from Lebanese territory using an air-to-surface missile.
Reports trickled out of Lebanon on Friday claiming that there was a heavy air force presence. The official Lebanese news agency reported that 14 fighter planes had penetrated Lebanese airspace by the afternoon. At around 11:30pm, Israeli fighter planes were reportedly observed flying low near the border between Syria and Lebanon.
No mainstream Arab-language media outlets have reported the alleged strikes, however. Al-Jazeera reported shortly after midnight Friday night that Russian military planes had conducted attacks in al-Qalamoun.
It should be recalled that the militants of an Egyptian group affiliated with Islamic State claimed that they downed a Russian flight 9268 from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg, with 217 passengers and 7 crew members on board, over Egypt.
On the morning of October 31, the Airbus A321 of Russian Kogalymavia airline took off 5:51 a.m. from the Sinai Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg in Russia, and half an hour later it went down in the mountainous area of central Sinai.
Sinai is the scene of an insurgency by militants close to Islamic State, who have killed hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police and have also attacked Western targets in recent months.
Russian aviation authorities said that they had no information about the closure of airspace in the area of the flight. Egyptian security sources earlier on Saturday said early investigations suggested the plane crashed due to a technical fault.
Later today Lufthansa and Air France said they would avoid flying over the Sinai peninsula until the cause of the crash can be clarified. British Airways and easyJet said their routes were regularly reviewed, but that they had no plans to alter their routes to and from Sharm el-Sheikh.