Israel intercepts Syrian ‘projectile’ hours after ‘attacking’ Damascus airport

Israel intercepts Syrian ‘projectile’ hours after ‘attacking’ Damascus airport

The Jewish state's military reportedly deployed ins Patriot missile defence system to tackle a missile incoming above the Golan Heights

The view over Syria from the Golan Heights
The view over Syria from the Golan Heights

Israel claims to have intercepted a “projectile” fired from Syria, just hours after an apparent Israeli missile attack on a military installation near Damascus International Airport.

The Israeli military said it deployed its Patriot missile defence system to tackle the projectile incoming from Syria above the Golan Heights.

It did not reveal any further details, but Israeli media reports claim the military knocked out a drone that had infiltrated from Syria.

The incident came after Syria accused Israel of striking a military installation near the airport, setting off a series of pre-dawn explosions.

Israel appears to be striking at military convoys and installations in Syria at a quickening pace, maintaining it has the right to prevent the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah, a Lebanese terror group that fights alongside Syrian government forces.

Israel’s intelligence minister Yisrael Katz would not comment on the strike but said “it absolutely matches our declared policy, a policy that we also implement”.

Israel has repeatedly warned against “game-changing” weapons reaching Hezbollah in Lebanon from Syria.

The Syrian military said the attack, which could be felt at least nine miles away, was carried out by Israel and aimed to “raise the morale of terrorist groups” which the government maintains are waging war against President Bashar Assad’s forces.

The military said it would continue its “war on terror” – government parlance for the battle against all groups trying to oust Mr Assad.

Russia has denounced what it calls “aggression” against Syria following the incident.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova did not directly blame Israel for the explosion, but cited Syrian media as saying Israel was responsible.

She said “Moscow condemns acts of aggression against Syria”, and calls on everyone to “act within the framework of respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria”.

Israel is widely believed to have carried out several air strikes in recent years on advanced weapons systems in Syria – including Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles and Iranian-made missiles – as well as Hezbollah positions. It rarely comments on such operations.

Syria’s state-run Sana news agency said Israel had fired several missiles from inside the Golan Heights, 37 miles south of Damascus, striking a military installation south-west of the airport that serves both military and civilian flights.

It reported several explosions and material damage but no casualties. It was not clear how Israel was identified as the culprit.

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