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Israel Strikes Syria with Jets, Ground-to-ground Missiles

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Syria’s army says its air defense systems have hit an Israeli aircraft and intercepted a number of rockets fired at targets on Syrian soil as the Tel Aviv regime continues its acts of aggression against the Arab country, reported Press TV (Iran).

In a statement carried by state media on Tuesday, the army said that Israeli jets had fired missiles at the al-Qutaifa area northeast of the capital, Damascus, from inside the Lebanese airspace at 2:40 a.m. (0040 GMT).

The target of the strike in al-Qutaifa was said to be a weapons depot.

According to the statement, Israel then fired ground-to-ground rockets from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, but the Syrian defenses brought the missiles down.

It said that Israeli jets had fired a final barrage of four rockets from inside Israel, and that the Syrian air defenses brought down one, but that the others caused material damage.

Syria’s official news agency (SANA) cited the general command of the army as saying that the attack had been carried out to raise the morale of the “defeated” terrorists in the Arab country.

“This flagrant aggression reaffirms Israel’s support for the armed terrorist groups in Syria and its desperate attempts to lift its morale,” the statement read.

The Israeli military did not comment on the reports.

During the past few years, Israel has frequently attacked military targets in Syria in what is considered as an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering defeats in their fight against Syrian government forces.

Back in April 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu officially admitted for the first time that the regime's military had conducted strikes in Syrian territory.

Damascus says Israel and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups operating inside the Arab country, while the Tel Aviv regime's military carries out such sporadic strikes against Syrian government forces. The Israeli regime has even set up field hospitals to treat wounded militants evacuated from Syria.

Moreover, the Syrian army has repeatedly seized huge quantities of Israeli-made weapons and advanced military equipment from militant groups inside Syria.

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Israel attacked an arms depot of a Syrian army military base near Damascus on Tuesday with jets and ground-to-ground missiles, the Syrian army confirmed. The Syrian army added that their air defense systems prevented three separate strikes, saying that the incident proves Israel's support for anti-regime organizations. The Israeli military declined to comment on the matter, reported Haaretz (Israel).

The Syrian opposition-affiliated Qasioun website reported that four Israeli planes carried out the attack on Al-Qutayfah, an eastern suburb of the Syrian capital, through Lebanese airspace. Eyewitnesses report that loud explosions were heard in the area, which is known to host weapons depots where Scud missiles are stored.

According to the Syrian military, several missiles were first launched at 2:40 A.M., followed by two more missiles at 3:04 A.M. and four at 4:14 A.M. The military said the Syrian air defense shot down one missile and the rest fell on one of the Syrian military sites, causing material damage.

On Sunday, the Israeli security cabinet convened for a long meeting on the situation on the Lebanese and Syrian borders. Senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, expressed concerns over developments on the northern front amid Iran's growing influence in the region. Israel is also concerned about the replenishment of the Assad regime’s missile arsenal, which was almost entirely used up fighting the rebels, and the establishment of Iranian weapons plants in Syria and Lebanon.

On December 2, Syrian state television reported that the Israeli Air Force struck a military base in city of Al-Kiswa, located some 13 kilometers south of Damascus. According to Assad-affiliated media reports, Israel targeted Iranian military bases in the area. Israeli officials declined to comment on the matter.

During that attack, Syria's air-defense system fired missiles at Israeli aircraft, which reportedly launched the attack from Lebanese airspace.

Three days later, Israel reportedly struck another Assad regime military target near Damascus, foreign media reported. According to pro-Assad media reports, Syrian forces allegedly fired anti-aircraft missiles toward Israeli jets. One sucuh website wrote that the Israeli strikes targeted the Jamraya Research and Information Center, a security facility in a Damascus suburb.

The regime of President Bashar Assad has continued to regain control over areas of Syria near the Israeli border, despite counterattacks by Sunni rebels. This month an agreement was reached for the surrender and retreat of rebels in the enclave surrounding the village of Beit Jinn, some 11 kilometers east of the Golan Heights border.

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Tags: syria, israel
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