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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Syria responds to 'Israeli aggression' in south: state media

The airstrikes have reportedly caused damage and casualties [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 January, 2021

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Syrian state media has said that it confront an Israeli attack that targeted several positions south of Damascus.
Syrian air defence forces responded late Wednesday to "Israeli aggression" in the south of the country, the state news agency said.

Israel launched missiles in the air attack from the disputed Golan Heights at around 11 pm (2100 GMT), SANA reported, citing a military source.

"Our anti-air defences responded, targeting most of the missiles," the source added.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) later said that the Israeli strikes caused "deaths and injuries" but did not give details.

SOHR said the Israeli raids targeted several positions south of Damascus and came two days after a delegation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard visited the area.

Israel has not commented on the incident.

Last month, Israel said it had hit about 50 targets in the neighbouring country in 2020.

Israel has consistently vowed to prevent Iran from gaining a foothold in Syria, where Tehran has backed President Bashar al-Assad throughout the nearly decade-long war.

Read more: Syria Insight: What to expect under the Biden administration

The Israeli army has carried out hundreds of air and missile strikes on Syria since the civil war broke out in 2011, targeting Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces as well as government troops.

Israel rarely acknowledges individual strikes, but has done so when responding to what it describes as aggression inside Israeli territory.

Since the outbreak of Syria's civil war, more than 387,000 people have been killed and millions forced from their homes.

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