Israeli strikes hit near Damascus: Syrian ministry

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Israeli strikes hit several positions near Damascus in the early hours of Thursday, the Syrian defense ministry said, in the third such attack in less than a week.

Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes on Syrian territory since civil war broke out there in 2011, targeting government positions as well as allied Iran-backed forces and Hezbollah fighters.

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Explosions were heard in the Syrian capital in the night of Wednesday to Thursday, AFP correspondent reported.

“At around 00:30 AM, the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial aggression from the direction of the occupied Palestinian territories targeting several positions in the vicinity of Damascus,” the Syrian defence ministry said in a statement.

Syria's air defence intercepted several missiles, the ministry added.

The ministry did not provide any details on the targets, and only said that the strikes caused material damage.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said the Israeli strikes targeted sites near the Damascus International Airport.

It was not immediately clear if the targets were the positions of the Syrian army or pro-Iranian fighters.

On Monday, Israel struck the vicinity of Damascus, wounding one soldier, after a strike three days earlier targeted Syrian military sites near the airport.

While Israel rarely comments on the strikes it carries out on Syria, it has repeatedly said it will not allow its archfoe Iran to gain a foothold there.

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