Israeli aircraft on Saturday struck Iranian forces near Damascus that were allegedly planning to launch armed drones at targets in Israel, an Israeli military spokesperson said.

“The strike targeted Iranian Quds Force operatives and Shia militias, which were preparing to advance attack plans targeting sites in Israel from within Syria over the last number of days,” the military said in a statement.

Israeli military spokesperson Jonathan Conricus told reporters the forces were preparing to launch “killer drones” armed with explosives at northern Israel.

Syrian state media said that Syrian air defences intercepted “hostile targets” over the capital Damascus on Saturday night.

Witnesses in Damascus said they heard and saw explosions in the sky.

“The aggression is ongoing and air defences are confronting hostile targets and are downing most of them in the southern region,” state media outlet SANA said, indicating areas south of Damascus.

The Syrian army said in a statement that “the majority of the Israeli missiles were destroyed before reaching their targets.”

Conricus, however, said the impact of the Israeli sites was “significant.”