MIDDLE EAST

Syria says intercepted Israel strikes near Damascus

Syria’s air defense blocked some of the missiles. (File photo: Reuters)

Syrian air defense systems intercepted an Israeli air attack on a military position near the capital Damascus on Wednesday, the army said.

“This morning, Israeli warplanes fired several missiles from Lebanese airspace on one of our military positions in the Damascus countryside,” said an army statement carried by state media. “Our air defense systems blocked them and destroyed most of them.”

Loud blasts

An AFP correspondent in Damascus heard loud blasts around 3:30 am (0130 GMT). The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war, said at least some Israeli missiles had hit military targets near Damascus.

“Syria’s air defense system blocked some of the missiles, but others hit ammunition depots near Jamraya,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

Jamraya, which lies just over 10 kilometers (seven miles) northwest of Damascus, is home to several military positions and a branch of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC).

The US has repeatedly imposed sanctions on the SSRC for its alleged role in chemical weapons production. France has also imposed sanctions on the agency.

READ ALSO: Syrian, Iranian backed forces advance in border area near Israel

An Israeli air strike hit the facility in May 2013 and another hit an SSRC branch in western Syria in September. Israel has carried out dozens of air strikes on the Syrian armed forces and their allies since the civil war broke out there in 2011.

An Israeli army spokeswoman had no immediate comment.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 7 February 2018 KSA 10:41 - GMT 07:41
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