Regime-run media says Israel is firing missiles into Syria

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Syrian state TV gave no further details but Damascus residents said explosions could be heard near the city

Dec 23, 2019

December 23, 2019

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Syrian air defences opened fire on Sunday night on missiles fired from inside Israel, state media reported.

Residents of Damascus said explosions could be heard near the capital. State TV said one of the Israeli missiles was shot down near the Damascus suburb of Aqraba.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitoring group that has activists around the country, said the missile attack targeted Iranian and Syrian military positions near Damascus.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

In neighbouring Lebanon, Israeli warplanes could be heard flying in the country’s airspace at the time of the air strikes in Syria. Damascus has said in the past that Israeli warplanes have fired missiles into Syria from Lebanese airspace.

Last month, Israel said it struck dozens of Iranian targets in Syria in a “wide-scale” operation in response to rocket fire on the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights the day before.

Israel has repeatedly struck Iran-linked targets in Syria in recent years and has warned against any permanent Iranian presence on the frontier.

Iran has forces based in Syria, Israel’s northern neighbour, and supports Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.

In November, Israel killed a senior commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an Iran-backed group in the Gaza Strip, setting off two days of heavy fighting. A separate air strike failed to kill its target of an Islamic Jihad leader in Damascus, underscoring the risk of escalation at pressure points across the volatile region.

Updated: December 23, 2019 10:41 AM

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