Syrian state media: Israeli missiles strike near Damascus

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In a fresh escalation in the Middle East, Israel has fired missiles at a military position near Damascus over last night while Syria's air defence system has claimed of thwarting some of the attacks.

"The air defences of the Syrian army were able to deal with the attack... destroying two of the missiles", it said, adding that the attack nonetheless caused "material damage".

Israel is yet to comment on the reports, although its military has repeatedly targeted Hizballah positions.

UK-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported explosions near Damascus, which were said to have been caused by a suspected Israeli attack. Beirut media cited by Israeli press indicated in turn that rockets were fired from Israeli aircraft that overflew Lebanese airspace, where y had simulated operations against local targets in a maneuver of Distraction.

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It is not clear whether the Syrian army or Iranian and Hizballah militias were targeted in the strike.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously warned that Israel would not allow Iran to establish any military presence in Syria.

Israel has acknowledged carrying out repeated air and missile strikes in Syria since the beginning of the war six years ago in order to stop arms deliveries to Hizballah. A series of satellite images showed construction at the location of the alleged base, which was made known to the BBC by a western intelligence source.

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