Syria’s air defenses down missiles from Israel

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Syria’s air defenses intercepted and downed several missiles coming across the occupied Golan Heights in Israel before they hit their targets in the capital Damascus, Syrian state television said on Thursday.

“Our air defences intercepted hostile targets over the skies of Damascus,” state agency SANA said.

It said the “missiles were launched from over the occupied Golan Heights.”

Several missiles were intercepted before they could reach their targets, it added.

Al Arabiya sources said that five airstrikes targeted weapons and missile depots in the vicinity of Damascus International Airport and that one of the strikes targeted a military post south of Damascus.

The airstrikes were launched hours after the arrival of Iranian arms shipments to Damascus International Airport, according to the sources.

An AFP correspondent in Damascus heard large blasts.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights blamed the attack on Israel, which has not claimed responsibility.

The Britain-based monitor said the attack targeted Iran-backed militias near the capital, with some missiles hitting their intended targets.

On January 15, Israel carried out an aerial attack that damaged a military airport in central Syria, according to a military source quoted by Syria’s state news agency SANA.

Israel “led a new attack against T4 airport... air defenses were immediately activated against the enemy missiles, destroying several of them,” a military source told SANA.

Israel has repeatedly bombed Iranian-backed militia targets in Syria, saying its goal was to end Tehran’s military presence in the country.

Sparked by the brutal government suppression of pro-democracy protests, the conflict in Syria has been complicated by the involvement of international powers.

It has left more than 380,000 people dead, including over 115,000 civilians.

(With Reuters, AFP)

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