A series of massive explosions illuminated the dark sky over Damascus early Sunday, igniting renewed claims that Israel has launched attacks into the war-torn country.

A top Syrian official told CNN in an exclusive interview that the attack was a "declaration of war" by Israel. Syria's government said the target was a military research facility outside Damascus.

Syrian authorities vowed to retaliate against Israel but did not specify what action they would take.

The Israeli military would not confirm or deny the Syrian claim that Israel fired rockets that hit the Jamraya research center in the Damascus suburbs.