Syrian air defences intercept 'hostile targets' near Damascus

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Al Arabiya's correspondent said that the Israeli raids near Damascus were carried out from Lebanon's airspace.

Smoke rises past a mountain as seen from Damascus countryside, Syria December 25, 2018.

Beirut: Syrian air defences shot down Israeli missiles near the capital Damascus on Tuesday, local state media reported, while Israel said it was protecting itself from anti-aircraft fire. There was no immediate word on casualties.

An arms depot was hit and three soldiers were injured due to the attack, the source added.

The official SANA news agency said "a number of enemy targets were downed" by the air defences.

Lebanese state-run National News Agency said Israeli war planes performed mock raids above southern Lebanon.

The U-K-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also verifies that the missiles have been fired from Israeli planes.

Smoke rises past a mountain as seen from Damascus countryside Syria
REUTERS Omar Sanadiki Hezbollah Top Brass Hit by Alleged Israel Strike- Reports

The suspected Israeli attacks come two days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the USA withdrawal of some 2,000 troops from northeast Syria would not change Israel's policy of targeting Iranian forces in Syria.

"The aggression is still ongoing", said a presenter on state TV, which interrupted its programs to air patriotic songs.

The Israeli attack is the latest in a string of missiles strikes targeting Syrian positions throughout the crisis over the pretext that they are targeting positions of Iranian-backed forces and allied Hezbollah fighters.

A US Defense Department official told American media that top Israeli military brass had told him that a number of senior Hezbollah leaders were targeted as they boarded a plane for Iran.

A series of explosions rocked Damascus on Tuesday night as Israel allegedly targeted Hezbollah and Iranian targets. Tuesday's attack is the first since a missile assault on the southern outskirts of Damascus on November 29.

Russian Federation announced it had delivered the S-300 air defence system to Syria in October. That followed the September 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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