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Syria says repels Israeli air attack, Israel says downs Golan rocket

FILE PHOTO: An Israeli soldier rides an armoured vehicle during an army drill after the visit of Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Israel August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File photo
2019-01-20

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SULAIMANI — Syrian military air defenses thwarted an Israeli attack on Sunday (January 20), shooting down several missiles in the south of the country, state media said.

“Our air defense systems thwarted ... an Israeli air aggression ... and prevented it from achieving any of its goals,” a military source told state news agency SANA. It gave no further details, according to Reuters.

An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment.

The Israeli military later said its Iron Dome interceptor system shot down a rocket fired at the northern part of the occupied Golan Heights on the Syria frontier.

The military’s statement did not immediately specify where the rocket was launched from. The northern Golan is also close to Lebanese territory.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged an Israeli attack last week on what he called an Iranian arms cache in Syria, where Tehran provides Damascus with vital support.

He told his cabinet Israel had carried out “hundreds” of attacks over the past years of Syria’s war to curtail Iran and its ally Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Usually silent about its attacks on Iranian targets near its frontier, Israel has lifted the veil this month, a sign of confidence in a campaign waged amid occasional tensions with Syria’s big-power backer Russia.

(NRT Digital Media/Reuters)