Government sources indicated that large explosions heard in the Damascus area on Tuesday evening (local time), March 19, were the result of Syrian military drills. Earlier unconfirmed reports had claimed Israeli airstrikes targeted the area; however, the Syrian military denied any such attacks. Further details regarding the incident are still emerging.
Israeli and Syrian forces infrequently exchange fire over the Israeli-Syrian border, with Israeli forces typically targeting alleged Iran-affiliated military facilities and with Syrian regime forces firing on the Golan Heights in retaliation.
To date, the Syrian Civil War - which began in 2011 - involves many parties, including the Syrian government, the Russian government, the Iranian government, the Turkish government, a US-led coalition, and numerous armed groups on the ground (including the Islamic State) with competing goals.
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.
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