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Israeli Warplanes Target Damascus Airport

Israeli Warplanes Target Damascus Airport

The Syrian state news agency said Israeli warplanes fired a number of missiles toward the Damascus area on Friday, triggering Syrian air defenses that shot down a lot of them.

According to the source, the airstrikes nevertheless caused damage to a warehouse at Damascus International Airport, which continued work following the strike.

Syrian state media broadcast footage of what it said were the air defenses firing, with bright lights seen shooting across the night sky.

An AFP correspondent in Damascus heard several loud explosions late on Friday, the worldwide news agency said.

In an earlier report on Friday, SANA had spoken of Syrian air defense batteries attacking "enemy targets".

The strikes are suspected to have been carried out by Israel and targeted the area surrounding Damascus airport and Al Kisweh region where Iran has heavily deployed proxies and military sites in the past, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. It also said Israeli fighter jets were also operating in Lebanese airspace.

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In November 2018, Syrian state media reported that the country's air defences shot down "hostile targets" flying over the town of Kisweh, just south of Damascus, and "were able to foil its goals" despite the "intensity of the aggression".

The airstrike comes after Israeli warplanes conducted a similar attack against Syria on 25 December, destroying an ammunition depot near the capital Damascus.

The Jerusalem Post quotes "Syrian opposition" as saying that the Israeli Air Force attacked the bases of Iranian militias and Assad's forces southwest of Damascus.

The Syrian air defenses intercepted most of the Israeli missiles, it added. He also said that Iranian forces are operating less than 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the Israeli border, contrary to Russian assurances.

Israel has accused Iran of seeking to establish a military presence in Syria that could threaten Israeli security and attempting to transfer advanced weaponry to the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon.