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Syria Air Defences ‘Confront Israeli Missiles’ Near Damascus



Israeli warplanes fired several missiles towards Damascus late Friday, Syrian state media reported.

Syrian air defences shot down most of the “hostile” missiles, though one hit a warehouse at Damascus International Airport, SANA news agency said.

A Transport Ministry spokesperson told SANA that air traffic from the airport was unaffected by the conflict.

A spokesman for the Israeli army declined to comment on the incident.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least two Israeli rockets hit the outskirts of the airport.

It added that Israeli rockets has also hit hard the area of Kesswa and other regions in the south-western countryside of Damascus where there are arms depots for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and their allied Lebanese militia, Hezbollah.

Some of the depots were destroyed, the watchdog said, without giving details on casualties.

Lebanese residents living near the Syrian border reported hearing the sound of Israeli warplanes in Lebanese airspace shortly before explosions were heard across the Syrian capital.

Israel had previously said it will not tolerate Iran seeking to establish permanent military bases in Syria as the war there winds down after seven years of fighting.

Iranian and government targets inside Syria have been hit several times since April.

Iran and Hezbollah have been major allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since the uprising started in 2011.

On December 25 a similar strike near the capital Damascus wounded three Syrian soldiers.

Earlier Friday, the United States announced it had begun the process of pulling out its forces from Syria. Its statement, however, did not provide any further details of a timeline or the location of troop movements “out of concern for operational security.”






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