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Israel hits Iranian targets in Syria


Jerusalem/Damascus: The Israel military on Monday said it has hit Iranian targets around the Syrian capital Damascus in retaliation to a rocket fired from Syria towards the occupied Golan Heights.

In a statement, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said its jets targeted ammunition storage sites located at the Damascus International Airport, an intelligence site and military training camp operated by the elite Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the BBC reported.

The jets also struck several Syrian military air defence batteries after dozens of surface-to-air missiles were launched "despite clear warnings", according to the IDF.

"In firing towards Israeli territory yesterday (Sunday), Iran once again offered definitive proof of its real intentions of its entrenchment in Syria, which endangers the State of Israel and regional stability," the statement said.

"The IDF will continue operating determinedly to thwart Iranian entrenchment in Syria.

"In addition, the IDF holds the Syrian regime responsible for everything taking place within Syria and warns the Syrian regime against targeting Israel or permitting it to be targeted."

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, said the strikes had targeted weapons depots belonging to Iran and the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah.

At least 11 fighters, including two Syrians, were killed, it added.

Meanwhile, Syria's state-run Sana news agency quoted a military source as saying that the country's air defences "confronted an Israeli attack" and "prevented it from achieving its objectives".

"Our air defences dealt with the situation and intercepted the hostile missiles, downing most of them before reaching their targets," the source added.

Even the Russian military, which also supports the Syrian government, said more than 30 missiles and guided bombs were shot down by Syrian air defences, the BBC said.

Monday's operation came a day after the IDF said Quds Force personnel launched a surface-to-surface rocket from Syrian territory towards the northern Golan Heights, which was intercepted by the Iron Dome air defence system.

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