Israeli war planes attack Damascus arms depot and other targets, Syrian state media claims



December 26, 2018 11:38:46

Israeli war planes have attacked multiple targets near Damascus, firing missiles that injured three Syrian soldiers, Syrian state media reports.

Key points:

  • An arms depot was reportedly hit and three soldiers were injured due to the attack
  • The nature of the Israeli missiles targets was unclear
  • The missiles are the first launched since Donald Trump said US troops will pull out of the region

A military source said an arms depot was hit and three soldiers were injured due to the attack.

“Our air defences confronted hostile missiles launched by Israeli war planes from above the Lebanese territories and downed most of them before reaching their targets,” the source said.

The nature of the Israeli missiles targets was unclear.

Syrian state media reported earlier in the evening the downing of several “hostile targets” near Damascus.

An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment on the reports.

“An IDF aerial defence system activated in response to an anti-aircraft missile launched from Syria,” the official Israeli army Twitter account later said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, said Israeli missiles were launched from above the Lebanese territories and targeted western and southwestern Damascus rural areas.

“A number of missiles hit arms depots for Hezbollah or Iranian forces,” the observatory said, adding that no casualties or losses were reported.

Lebanese state-run National News Agency said Israeli war planes performed mock raids above southern Lebanon.

The reported attack near Damascus is the first since US President Donald Trump announced last week that the US would withdraw all of its 2,000 forces in Syria, a move that will leave control of the oil-rich eastern third of Syria up for grabs.

Following Mr Trump’s announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would “continue to act against Iran’s attempts to entrench itself militarily in Syria, and to the extent necessary, we will even expand our actions there.”

During the more than seven-year conflict in neighbouring Syria, Israel has grown deeply alarmed by the expanding clout of Iran — a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Israel’s air force has struck scores of targets it describes as Iranian deployments or arms transfers to Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement in the war.







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