Syrian State Media Keeps Mum After Reports of Israeli Attack

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The sky is lit up after an explosion at what Syrian state television reported was a military research center in Damascus, May 5, 2013.Credit: Reuters

Reports of an alleged Israeli attack south of Damascus were met with silence on Syrian state media and denial by media outlets affiliated with regime allies Russia and Hezbollah. However, prominent airtime was given to the rumored preparations for an operation against ISIS' de-facto capital in Syria. 

According to reports, three Israeli missiles fired from a great range hit Syrian military outposts near the Damascus-Daraa route on Wednesday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights cited an eyewitness who said he heard a loud explosion and saw thick plumes of smoke rising about 15 km south of Damascus. 

However, no reports of casualties or damage were received, and the nature of the targets remained unclear. 

State media made no mention of the attack or the reports, though the Al-Manar TV channel, operated by Syrian regime ally Hezbollah, and Russia Today gave prominent spots for denials of the reports by unnamed Syrian officials, who said they were lies propagated by opposition groups. 

Media outlets affiliated with the regime in Syria and with Hezbollah in Lebanon have instead given extensive coverage to battles in the Syrian Golan Heights and near Aleppo, where Syrian and Hezbollah troops, backed by Russian airstrikes, are advancing.

According to the reports, preparations have been launched for an operation against the ISIS-stronghold of Raqqa in northern Syria, aiming to push back the militant group before the U.S.-led coalition.

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