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Israeli missiles shot down in Syria: state media

AM:09:36:22/07/2021

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SULAIMANI — Syria's air defenses intercepted Israeli missiles over Homs province early Thursday (July 22), the second airstrike this week, Syrian state media reported.

A military source told Syrian state news agency SANA that the attack had caused no casualties, inflicting only material damage.

"At 01:13 am... the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial attack targeting several positions in the Qusayr region of Homs province," SANA reported, citing the source.

"Our air defenses intercepted the missiles... shooting most of them down," the military source said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the missiles had targeted military positions of the Lebanese Hezbollah group, destroying weapons depots.

The Syrian army recaptured Qusayr, a rebel stronghold near the Lebanese border, in 2013 after a blistering 17-day assault led by Hezbollah fighters. The city was strategically vital for the regime because it links the capital Damascus to the coast.

Seizing the stronghold was a major victory for Hezbollah, which has fought alongside President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

Thursday's airstrikes were the second this week, after an Israeli attack on Monday killed five pro-Iran fighters allied with the regime, and destroyed the group's base and a nearby weapons depot in Aleppo, according to the Britain-based war monitor.

Since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, Israel has routinely carried out raids in Syria, mostly targeting government positions as well as allied Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces.

Israel rarely confirms strikes in Syria, but the Jewish state's army has said it hit about 50 targets in the war-torn country last year, without providing details.

Israel has said it is trying to prevent its arch-foe Iran from gaining a permanent military foothold on its doorstep.

Last month, Israeli airstrikes in central Syria killed at least 11 government troops and militiamen.

(NRT Digital Media/AFP)