Syrian regime's air defenses confront 'hostile targets' west of Damascus

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 25.12.2018 23:44
Updated 26.12.2018 16:06

Syrian regime's air defenses confronted late Tuesday "hostile targets" west of Damascus, the state-run news agency Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.

The sound of loud explosions echoed through the capital city of Damascus, a witness told dpa.

Lebanese residents near the border with neighboring Syria said the sound of planes could be heard in the sky, hinting that Israeli planes were using Lebanese airspace to hit targets inside Syria.

An Israeli army spokeswoman declined to comment to dpa.

SANA said air defenses "intercepted hostile missiles launched by the Israeli warplanes" from over Lebanese territories, citing a military source.

It added that the majority of them were downed before reaching their targets near the capital Damascus. Three soldiers were injured and an ammunition depot damaged.

Israel had previously said it will not tolerate Iran seeking to establish permanent military bases in Syria as the war there winds down after seven years of fighting.

Iranian and regime targets inside Syria have been hit several times since April.

The thwarted attack is the first since a missile assault on the southern outskirts of Damascus on Nov. 29.

In the past, Israel is widely believed to have been behind a series of airstrikes that mainly targeted Iranian and Hezbollah forces fighting alongside the government in Syria.

Russia announced it had delivered the S-300 air defense system to Syria in October. That came after the Sept. 17 downing of a Russian reconnaissance plane by Syrian forces responding to an Israeli airstrike, a friendly fire incident that stoked regional tensions.

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