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Syria: Israeli missiles hit Damascus

January 12, 2019

Syrian air defenses shot down most of the incoming missiles, but one reportedly hit a warehouse at Damascus airport. Israel has vowed to prevent Iran from setting up permanent military bases in Syria.

Syrian air defenses over Damascus
Image: picture alliance/dpa/A. Safarjalani

Syrian air defenses shot down missiles fired by "Israeli military planes" at around 11.00 p.m. local time (2100 UTC), Syria's official SANA news agency reported, citing a military source.

"Only a ministry of transport warehouse at Damascus international airport was hit," SANA said.

Israel has previously carried out missile strikes against what it says are Iranian military targets and arms stores within Syria that are linked to Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group. Israel says it would not allow Iran, which supports Syrian President Bashar Assad, to set up military bases in Syria.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor confirmed the missile attack, saying at least two Israeli rockets hit the outskirts of the airport.

Targeting Iranian depots

The Observatory said that Israeli rockets had also hit targets in the countryside southwest of Damascus where there are arms depots for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah.

Lebanese residents near the Syrian border reported hearing the sound of Israeli warplanes in Lebanese airspace shortly before explosions were heard over the Syrian capital.

Iranian and government targets inside Syria have been hit several times since April. On December 25, a similar strike near Damascus wounded three Syrian soldiers.

The United States, a close Israeli ally, recently announced a withdrawal of its forces from Syria.

jm/amp (dpa, AFP)

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