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Syrian air defence system intercepts Israeli missiles

The conflict in Syria started with the brutal repression of peaceful protests and escalated to pull in foreign powers and global jihadists.

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The Syrian government’s air defence systems intercepted Israeli missiles over the coastal province of Tartus and in central Syria, near the border with Lebanon, state media reported Sunday.

“Our air defences are intercepting hostile targets in the sky of Tartus and in the air of the Qalamoun mountain range near the Lebanese border,” Syria’s official news agency SANA said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said ambulances had rushed to the scene of the strikes in Tartus.

Read more: Leaders of Iran, Russia, Turkey to discuss War in Syria in Tehran

“Israeli strikes targeted military sites of the regime forces and Iranian militias are present in the southern countryside of Tartus, where several missiles landed in the vicinity of Abu Afsa village, and at an air defence base and radar in the area,” said the Observatory, which has a wide network of sources inside Syria.

On Friday, Israeli shelling wounded two civilians in southern Syria near the occupied Golan Heights, according to state media.

Last month, an Israeli strike near Damascus killed three Syrian soldiers, state media said at the time, with the Observatory saying the strike targeted a military facility and an “Iranian weapons depot”.

There was no immediate official reaction from Israel.

Since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes inside the country, targeting government positions as well as allied Iran-backed forces and Hezbollah fighters.

While Israel rarely comments on individual strikes in Syria, the military has defended them as necessary to prevent its arch-foe Iran from gaining a foothold on its doorstep.

The conflict in Syria started with the brutal repression of peaceful protests and escalated to pull in foreign powers and global jihadists.

Read more: Israel launches 2022’s deadliest air strike in Syria

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

AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk

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