Syria intercepts Israeli missiles fired toward Damascus


The Syrian state news agency said Israeli warplanes fired a number of missiles toward the Damascus area on Friday, triggering Syrian air defenses that shot down a lot of them.

On Sunday morning Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Israeli Air Force had targeted Iranian targets in Syria.

Israel has mounted attacks in Syria as part of its efforts to counter the influence created by Iran, which is supporting President Bashar al-Assad in the war that erupted in 2011.

Israel is believed to have carried out hundreds of airstrikes against Iranian and Hezbollah targets throughout the Syrian civil war, but generally avoids commenting about them.

On Friday, Syrian state news agency SANA reported that the country's air defenses intercepted missiles fired at the Damascus global airport at around 11:00 p.m. local time, with a military source attributing the attack to Israel.

"We have been taking action with impressive success to arrest Iran's military entrenchment in Syria", Netanyahu told his cabinet in televised remarks.

The last such missile attack was carried out on December 25, 2018, during which the Israeli warplanes fired missiles on Syrian military depots in the western countryside of Damascus from inside the Lebanese airspace.

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Israeli troops have discovered the sixth and final tunnel dug by Hezbollah militants for cross-border attacks, officials said.

Last September, Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz used a speech to give a rare insight into the country's Syria campaign.

The operation had raised concerns that Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shiite group and enemy of Israel, would respond and spark a new conflict between them, but the border has remained calm throughout.

Only recently has it begun to speak publicly about thwarting the weapons shipments from Iran through Syria into Lebanon.

The announcement that the operation is ending comes as military chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot steps down at the end of his term.

Missile fire is seen from Damascus, Syria on May 10, 2018.