Syria says air defenses intercept Israeli missile strike on Homs

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Syria said on Sunday its air defenses intercepted what it called an Israeli missile strike across central parts of the country and downed most of the missiles, according to state media.

An army statement said missiles that flew over parts of Lebanon’s capital Beirut hit locations in the vicinity of the city of Homs, resulting only in material damage.

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Reuters could not immediately confirm the report.

An Israeli military spokesman said Israeli warplanes targeted a Syrian air defence battery from which an anti-aircraft missile was launched towards Israel.

The warplanes also attacked other targets in the area, while no casualties were reported from the Syrian missile that exploded in mid-air, said the spokesman, Avichay Adraee.

Reuters could not immediately confirm whether the two incidents were related.

Israel has in recent months intensified strikes on Syrian airports and air bases to disrupt Iran's increasing use of aerial supply lines to deliver arms to allies in Syria and Lebanon, including Lebanon's Hezbollah

The Israeli strikes are part of an escalation of what has been a low-intensity conflict continuing for years with a goal of slowing Iran's growing entrenchment in Syria, Israeli military experts say.

Tehran’s influence has grown in Syria since it began supporting President Bashar al-Assad in the civil war that started in 2011.

Fighters allied to Iran, including Hezbollah, now hold sway in areas in eastern, southern and northwestern Syria and inseveral suburbs around the capital.

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