Israeli strikes near Damascus injure four soldiers

War monitor says Iranian arms depot near Syrian capital was destroyed

An image grab shows on November 20, 2019 smoke and fire billowing during a reported  Israeli air strike on the outskirts of Damascus. - The Israeli army confirmed that it carried out strikes against military sites in Damascus today, in response to rocket fire from Syria the previous day. "We just carried out wide-scale strikes of Iranian Quds Force & Syrian Armed Forces targets in Syria in response to the rockets fired at Israel by an Iranian force in Syria," the Israel Defense Forces tweeted. Syria's state media earlier said Syrian anti-aircraft defences intercepted a "heavy attack" by Israeli warplanes over the capital Damascus. (Photo by - / AFP)

Israel carried out a missile attack near the Syrian capital of Damascus and its southern suburbs early on Thursday that wounded four soldiers, Syria’s state media reported.

Syrian air defences were able to shoot down most of the missiles before they hit their targets, state news agency Sana reported, quoting a military official.

Some of the missiles were fired by Israeli warplanes flying over neighbouring Lebanon, the agency said.

"At around 12.56, the Israeli enemy carried out an aggression from the direction of Lebanon on some positions in the vicinity of Damascus," the official said.

The strikes wounded four soldiers and caused "some material damage".

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the strikes hit several positions near the city and "destroyed an arms depot that belongs to the Iranians".

Al Manar TV of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group said one of the Syrian air defence missiles exploded near the Lebanon-Syria border and was heard in parts of southern Lebanon. It later said the missile crashed near the Lebanese border village of Houla.

Israel has launched hundreds of strikes against Iran-linked military targets in Syria over the years but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations. The Israeli army said it hit about 50 targets in Syria last year, without providing details.

Israel views Iranian entrenchment on its northern frontier as a red line, and it has repeatedly struck Iran-linked facilities and weapons convoys destined for Hezbollah.

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