Syria reports Israeli missile barrage near Damascus

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria amid the civil war over the past decade

Syrian air defences intercept missiles reportedly launched by Israel in the countryside near the capital Damascus, last year. EPA
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Israeli missiles hit at an area near Damascus, overnight, the Syrian state news agency reported on Monday.

The missiles came from the skies over eastern Lebanon and were aimed at outposts close to the Syrian capital, resulting in material losses, Sana quoted a military source as saying.

Syria's air defences were able to intercept some of the missiles, the source said.

No other details were immediately available, and there was no comment from Israel on the attack, which occurred shortly after 3am in Damascus. Israel carries out raids on Syria mostly overnight.

Israel has staged hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria over the past decade of the civil war in the Arab country, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations.

Israel has acknowledged, however, that it is aiming at bases of Iran-allied militias, such as Lebanon’s powerful militant Hezbollah group. It says it is going after positions and arms shipments believed to be bound for the groups. Hezbollah is fighting on the side of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s forces in the country’s civil war.

Israel says the Iranian presence on its northern frontier is a red line, justifying its strikes on sites and weapons inside Syria.

Monday’s attack comes amid wider tensions in the Middle East affecting the Arabian Gulf, which has seen a series of attacks as Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers collapsed and Yemen’s civil war raged on.

The UAE intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels early on Monday in the third such attack in recent weeks.

Updated: January 31, 2022, 6:55 AM