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Deadly Israeli Strikes on Iranian Military Targets in Syria

Deadly Israeli Strikes on Iranian Military Targets in Syria

Monday, 21 January, 2019 - 07:00
Missile fire is seen from Damascus, Syria May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
Asharq Al-Awsat
Israeli air strikes and ground-to-ground missiles that hit Iranian and Syrian targets near Damascus in the early hours of Monday killed at least 11 fighters including two Syrians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

According to the war monitor, the bombardment hit the targets around Damascus as well as near a military airport to the south of the capital.

Syrian military air defenses destroyed more than 30 cruise missiles and guided bombs during the Israeli air strikes, Russia's defense control center was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.

But the military center said that the air strikes killed four Syrian soldiers and wounded six.

In an extraordinary statement, the Israeli military confirmed early Monday that it attacked Iranian military targets in Syria.

The statement was issued hours after Israeli missile defenses intercepted an incoming missile over the Golan Heights in the wake of the airport raid.

"We have started striking Iranian Quds targets in Syrian territory," the military statement said, warning the Syrian army “against attempting to harm Israeli forces or territory."

Until now Israel has largely refrained from public admissions of its covert military operations in neighboring Syria, in order to avoid large-scale involvement in the eight-year civil war.

On Sunday, Syrian state media said air defenses repelled an Israeli air raid near the international airport south of Damascus. State TV said Syria's air defenses "prevented" the attack from achieving its goals. It said Israel targeted six missiles on an area near Damascus International Airport, of which five were shot down and one diverted to nearby empty farmland.

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