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Syria says it intercepted Israeli missile attacks

Syria has accused Israel of carrying out two airstrikes in the southern part of the country, state media reported.

Israel’s military declined to comment on the report, which said Syrian air defences targeted projectiles fired from Israel on Friday and Saturday night. On Friday, several explosions were heard in the Syrian capital Damascus and Syrian air defences opened fire on “objects” coming from the direction of Israel, state media reported. On Saturday the Syrian air defence systems fired at unidentified targets over Quneitra that had penetrated Syrian airspace from Israel.

A source in the Syrian regime said the targets were unmanned Israeli aerial vehicles but refused to say what the targets of the air strike were or whether the targets had been destroyed.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that Israeli aircraft in the Golan Heights had fired three missiles at Syrian territory. SOHR said that Syrian anti-aircraft batteries had shot down one of the missiles, but two hit the headquarters of the 90th Brigade of the Syrian army, which is based in Quneitra.

SOHR also reported three explosions southwest of Damascus. It added that it was not immediately clear if the Friday explosions were caused by Israeli airstrikes or surface-to-surface missiles. SOHR head, Rami Abdurrahman, told Associated Press that the attack on Friday appeared to have targeted the area of Kiswah. Western intelligence officials told the BBC in November 2017 that Iran had established a permanent military base in Kiswah. Israel has reportedly hit the base several times.

Maariv’s Yossi Melman describes the reported strikes as “business as usual”. He added: “It seems that the Air Force has continued to attack targets in Syria that are affiliated with the Iranian and Hezbollah presence. That’s what reportedly happened a month ago in Masyaf when three Syrians were injured in an air strike; that’s what happened on Friday night in western Damascus in the area of Al-Kiswah, a base that has already been attacked several times before and is known as a stockpiling and transit point for Iranian missiles.”

Last month, SANA said that an alleged Israeli airstrike on a military position in central Syria wounded six soldiers and destroyed several buildings.