Syrian ministry: Israel strikes Damascus area

Syrian ministry: Israel strikes Damascus area
Syrian ministry: Israel strikes Damascus area

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Israel carried out strikes yesterday near Damascus, Syria’s defence ministry said, the latest reported attack amid soaring regional tensions since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. — AFP pic

DAMASCUS, Feb 29 — Israel carried out strikes yesterday near Damascus, Syria’s defence ministry said, the latest reported attack amid soaring regional tensions since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

“The Israeli enemy launched air strikes from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan, targeting a number of sites in the Damascus countryside,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Our air defences responded to the aggression’s missiles and shot down most of them,” it added.

An AFP correspondent in the Syrian capital heard explosions followed by the sirens of ambulances.

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said the Israeli strikes killed two Syrian pro-Hezbollah fighters and had targeted “sites where Iran-backed groups including Lebanon’s Hezbollah are based” in two locations near Damascus.

When asked about the strikes, the Israeli army told AFP: “We do not comment on reports in the foreign media.”

On Sunday, an Israeli strike on a truck in Syria near the Lebanese border killed two Hezbollah members, the Observatory had said, with a source close to Hezbollah later confirming the deaths.

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Since Syria’s civil war began in 2011, Israel has launched hundreds of air strikes against its northern neighbour, primarily targeting pro-Iran forces, among them Lebanese Hamas ally Hezbollah and the Syrian army.

The strikes have multiplied during the almost five-month war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Israel rarely comments on individual strikes but has repeatedly said it will not allow Iran to expand its presence in Syria. — AFP

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