Syria claims it shot down several missiles launched by Israeli jets
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Syria claims it shot down several missiles launched by Israeli jets

State TV says the incident took place near the central historic town of Palmyra, hours after Iran's foreign minister met with President Assad and his Syrian counterpart

UN controlled border crossing point between Syria and Israel at the Golan Hights
UN controlled border crossing point between Syria and Israel at the Golan Hights

Syrian air defences have opened fire and shot down several missiles launched by Israeli planes near the central historic town of Palmyra, state media said.

State TV gave no further details about the attacks, the latest to hit central Syria in three weeks.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the Israeli strikes targeted Iranian and Iran-backed fighters in the desert near Palmyra. It had no immediate word on casualties, adding that Israeli planes were flying over neighbouring Lebanon.

Iran is a strong backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad and has sent thousands of Iran-backed fighters to fight alongside his troops in Syria’s nine-year conflict.

The strikes came hours after Iran’s foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif was in Damascus where he met Mr Assad and his Syrian counterpart.

Israel has in the past used Lebanon’s air space to launch attacks on Syria, and Israeli drones and planes were flying over Lebanon earlier on Monday.

Last month, Israeli planes fired missiles on the Shayrat air base, also in the central province of Homs.

In recent years, Israel has repeatedly carried out air strikes in Syria against targets belonging to Iran and its regional proxies.

Last week, an Israeli drone fired two missiles at and near a vehicle carrying members of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group in Syria close to the border with Lebanon. No one was hurt in the attack.

Israel on Saturday accused Hezbollah of “provocative” activity along the Lebanese-Israeli frontier and said it would complain to the UN Security Council.

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