Explosions near Syrian capital in apparent Israeli strikes

The news agency said Syrian air defenses shot down several “objects.”

18 May 2019 | 13:13

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 18 May 2019 | 13:13

This frame grab from video provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Ghouta Media Center, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows flames rising after an explosion near an airport west of Damascus, Syria, Thursday, April 27, 2017. (AP)

DAMASCUS, Syria: Several explosions were heard in the Syrian capital Damascus on Friday night as the country’s air defenses opened fire on “objects” coming from the direction of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, state media reported.

State news agency SANA quoted an unnamed military official as saying that Syrian air defenses discovered “hostile targets” coming from the direction of the Quenitra region on the edge of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The news agency said Syrian air defenses shot down several “objects.”

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, reported three explosions southwest of Damascus. It added that it was not immediately clear if the explosions were caused by Israeli airstrikes or surface-to-surface missiles.

The Observatory’s chief, Rami Abdurrahman, told The Associated Press that the strikes targeted the area of Kiswa, which is home to positions and storage sites for Iranian and Lebanon’s Hezbollah forces allied with Syria’s government.

Last month, SANA said an Israeli airstrike on a military position in central Syria wounded six soldiers and destroyed several buildings.

Israeli military officials declined to comment on the report Friday, but Israel recently acknowledged striking Iranian targets in Syria.

Iran is an ally of Damascus and has offered military advisers and sent militiamen and material support to help President Bashar Assad’s government forces in the eight-year civil war.

Israel considers Iran a national security threat and says it won’t tolerate Iran’s presence on its borders.

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