Syria says it responded to ‘Israeli aggression’

Syrian state news agency says Israel carried out missile attack in Quneitra province but it intercepted most of them.

A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on February 24, 2020, reportedly shows Syrian air defence intercepting an Israeli missile in the sky over the capital Damascus. [File: AFP]
A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on February 24, 2020, reportedly shows Syrian air defence intercepting an Israeli missile in the sky over the capital Damascus. [File: AFP]

Syrian forces responded late on Wednesday to “Israeli aggression” in the south of the country, the state news agency said.

Israel launched missiles from the occupied Golan Heights at approximately 11pm (21:00 GMT) and caused material damage, the SANA state news agency reported, citing a military source.

“Our anti-air defences responded … and intercepted most of the enemy missiles,” the source added.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the Israeli bombing hit a position belonging to “the regime forces and where pro-Iranian militias are also present” in the southern Quneitra province.

Witnesses in the capital, Damascus, told the Reuters news agency they heard sounds of explosions.

Israel routinely carries out raids in Syria, mostly against targets linked to Iran in what it says is a bid to prevent its arch-foe from consolidating a foothold along its northern border.

But the Israeli army rarely acknowledges individual raids and did not comment on the latest reports.

However, the army has said it hit about 50 targets in the war-torn country during 2020, without providing details.

According to the Observatory, which relies on sources on the ground in Syria, Israeli attacks on eastern Syria killed 57 government and allied fighters on January 13, in the deadliest raids since Israel began its assaults.

On January 22, four civilians, including two children, were killed by Israeli raids in the Syrian province of Hama, SANA reported.

At least three pro-Iran fighters were killed after Israel carried out air raids at positions in southern Syria and south of the capital Damascus on January 7.

Iran has members of its own military as well as fighters from a variety of nationalities, including Lebanese armed group Hezbollah, fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

Israeli jets have also been accused of violating Lebanese airspace and crisscrossing skies over Beirut in daily, low-altitude flights that have added to jitters in the Lebanese capital.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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