Syria says Israeli air attacks targeted Damascus

Syria says Israeli air attacks targeted Damascus

State news agency reports ‘explosions in Damacus’; war monitor says at least eight pro-government fighters killed.

Israeli air attacks struck central Syria late on Tuesday, with state news agency SANA reporting “explosions in Damascus” before adding that its air defences had been activated against the “Israeli aggression”.

Israeli planes arrived from Lebanese air space, the news agency added. It did not mention any reports of casualties or damage but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) told AFP news agency at least 11 pro-government fighters were killed in the attacks that took place late on Tuesday.

“At least seven army soldiers and four National Defence Forces militiamen were killed,” SOHR chief Rami Abdul Rahman said.

The Britain-based war monitor said the attacks targeted air force positions near the village of Khirbet al-Tin on the outskirts of Homs, as well as an arms depot belonging to the Lebanese Hezbollah movement.

The Israeli army, which rarely acknowledges individual attacks on Syria, declined to comment on “reports in the foreign media”.

Since a war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of air attacks on Syrian territory, targeting government positions as well as allied Iran-backed forces and fighters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement.

The decade-long war has left at least 500,000 people dead and millions displaced.

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