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Syria intercepts Israeli missiles: State media

DAMASCUS (AFP) – Syrian air defence intercepted Israeli missiles south of Damascus on Monday, with no casualties reported, a military source told Syria’s official news agency SANA.

“The Israeli enemy carried out an airstrike from the occupied Syrian Golan, targetting points south of Damascus,” with Syria’s air defence intercepting most of the missiles, SANA quoted the military source as saying.

“The losses were limited to material damage.”

An AFP correspondent in the capital Damascus heard loud noises in the evening.

The airstrike targetted sites in the southern Damascus countryside where the Lebanese Hezbollah group and Syrian air defence units are active, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor.

Last month, Israeli surface-to-surface missiles killed at least three Syrian officers near Damascus, according to the Observatory – which has a wide network of sources inside Syria.

The Israeli strikes had targetted Iranian positions and weapon depots near Damascus, the monitor said at the time.

Since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes against its neighbour, targetting government troops as well as allied Iran-backed forces and fighters of Lebanon’s Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

While Israel rarely comments on individual strikes, it has acknowledged carrying out hundreds of them.

The Israeli military has defended them as necessary to prevent its arch-foe Iran from gaining a foothold on its doorstep.

The 10-year-old conflict in Syria has killed nearly half a million people and forced around half of the country’s pre-war population from their homes.

Syrian fighters gather with their military vehicles at their barracks in the city of al-Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo province. PHOTO: AFP