Syria Says Israel Attacks Areas Around Southern Damascus

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Missiles flying into the sky in Damascus near its international airport, two years ago.
Missiles flying into the sky in Damascus near its international airport, two years ago.Credit: SANA / AP

The Syrian army said on Sunday evening that Israeli-fired rockets struck parts of southern Damascus in escalating attacks that regional intelligence sources say target Iran-linked assets.

A Syrian army statement said the attack came from the Golan Heights and that it had downed most of the missiles, in the second such strike in less than a month on the outskirts of the capital.

There was no immediate report of any casualties or damage, and no comment from Israel.

Tensions in the region have spiked following recent U.S. airstrikes in Syria that it said targeted facilities used by Iranian-backed militant groups and an attack on Friday against an Israeli-owned cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman that Israel said Iran was behind

Two weeks ago, Syria's military also said Israel had conducted an airstrike in Damascus, while an opposition war-monitoring group said the strikes killed six Iran-backed fighters.

Israel rarely comments on particular strikes, but in December, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said the strikes had "slowed down Iran's entrenchment in Syria."

"We have struck over 500 targets this year, on all fronts, in addition to multiple clandestine missions," Kochavi said.

In January, a senior U.S. intelligence official said Israeli airstrikes in eastern Syria in which dozens of people were killed were carried out with intelligence provided by the United States

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this article.

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