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SANA: Syrian air defenses shoot down several Israeli missiles

16 September 2018

Syrian military air defenses downed several missiles fired by Israel near Damascus airport on Saturday night, Syrian state media said. A SANA reporter meanwhile reported sounds of explosions in the vicinity of the airport.

"Our air defense systems thwarted an Israeli missile aggression", the source said.

"We don't comment on foreign reports", said the Israeli official, without elaborating.

On Sunday, the monitoring group said that the alleged Israeli strike caused "substantial" damage at the airport, but had no immediate information on casualties.

Syria often attributes airstrikes on military bases to Israel, but the Jewish state only rarely confirms such strikes.

Israel's air force has struck scores of targets it describes as Iranian deployments or arms transfers to Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah movement in the war.

In May, Israel said it attacked nearly all of Iran's military infrastructure in Syria, after Iranian forces fired rockets at Israeli-held territory for the first time in the most extensive military exchange ever between the two adversaries, Haaretz reported.

An Israeli official said earlier this month that the targets were connected to Iran's elite Al-Quds force and included air force components, support infrastructure, and weapons storage and manufacturing facilities.

While Russia does not seem to have accepted Israel's demand for Iran to be completely removed from Syria, it has agreed to force the Islamic Republic's forces and proxies to leave the areas closest to the border with Israel.

SANA: Syrian air defenses shoot down several Israeli missiles