Syria says Israeli air attacks targeted Damascus


State news agency reports ‘explosion at Damascus’; War Monitor says at least eight pro-government fighters were killed.

Israeli air strikes struck central Syria late Tuesday, with state news agency SANA reporting an “explosion in Damascus” before adding that its air defenses against “Israeli aggression” had been activated.

The news agency said the Israeli aircraft arrived from Lebanese airspace. It did not mention any reports of casualties or damage, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) told AFP news agency that at least eight pro-government fighters were killed in attacks late Tuesday.

SOHR chief Rami Abdul Rehman said, “At least five army personnel and three allied fighters were killed.”

The UK-based war monitor said the attacks targeted air force posts near the village of Khirbet al-Tin on the outskirts of Homs, as well as an arms depot belonging to the Lebanese Hezbollah movement.

The Israeli military, which rarely admits to personal attacks on Syria, declined to comment on “reports in foreign media”.

Since the war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes on Syrian territory, targeting government positions as well as Iran-backed forces and fighters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement.

At least 500,000 people were killed and millions displaced in a decade-long war.

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