Syria reports new Israeli missile barrage near Damascus

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DAMASCUS, Syria – Syrian air defenses clashed with Israeli missiles targeting an area near the capital Damascus, shooting down some of them, the official Syrian News Agency reported on Monday.

SANA quoted a military source as saying the missiles came from the skies above eastern Lebanon and targeted outposts near Damascus, causing material losses.

No further details were immediately available, and there was no comment from Israel on the attack which occurred shortly after 3 a.m. in Damascus. Israel carries out raids on Syria mostly overnight.

Israel has staged hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria over the past decade of the Arab country’s civil war, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations.

Israel has, however, acknowledged that it was targeting bases of Iran-allied militias, such as the powerful Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. He says he is going after positions and arms shipments that are supposed to be for the groups. Hezbollah is fighting alongside the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the country’s civil war.

Israel says the Iranian presence on its northern border is a red line, justifying its strikes on facilities and weapons inside Syria.

Monday’s attack comes amid wider tensions in the Middle East affecting the Persian Gulf, which has seen a series of attacks as Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers crumbled and war civil war in Yemen was raging.

The United Arab Emirates intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen early Monday in the third such attack in recent weeks.

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