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Russian fighter jets at Hmeimim airbase
Image: Getty Images/AFP

Syria intercepts projectiles near Damascus

May 18, 2019

Syrian air defenses have shot down drones and projectiles fired towards the capital and the Hmeimim airbase, Syrian TV reported. Throughout the conflict, Israel has targeted Iranian and Hezbollah sites in war-torn Syria.


A Russian airbase in Syria intercepted projectiles and drones fired late Friday from inside Israeli-controlled territory, Syrian state television said on Saturday.

One person was killed and several others were wounded in the attacks close to the coastal city of Latakia, it added.

The Hmeimim base's aerial defenses "targeted luminous objects coming from the occupied territories (Israel), shooting down a number of them." Syrian air defenses reportedly intercepted another barrage of projectiles late Saturday.

Read more: Germany confirms, Syria still unsafe for asylum-seekers

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Iranian targets

Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Israel had launched the strikes in southern Syria. 

"Israeli airplanes fired at least three missiles from the occupied Golan," said Rahman, referring to territories contested by Israel and Syria.

He cited well-informed sources as saying that Israeli rockets targeted the area of Keswa, where the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah have military outposts and arms depots.

Read more: Syria: 1,600 civilian deaths in US-led strikes on Raqqa, says Amnesty

Security concerns

Israel has allegedly carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria, most of them against Iranian and Hezbollah military targets. Tehran and the Shiite militant group have long supported Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime in its brutal war.

Israel has expressed concerns that Iran could transfer weapons and provide military training to the Lebanon-based Hezbollah in Syria.

The latest incident comes amid rising tensions between Iran and the United States, which has seen Washington deploy an aircraft carrier group and B-52 bombers to the Gulf.

Last year, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear treaty which Iran reached with major world powers. He accused Tehran of trying to destabilize the region.

Read more: Iran's Revolutionary Guard: US has started 'psychological war'

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ls,mm/jlw (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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