Syria’s air defences ‘intercept barrage of Israeli missiles’


State television says Syrian air defenses were facing an ‘Israeli aggression’ that intercepted and broke down a barrage of missiles over Hama.

Syrian air defenses have intercepted Israeli missiles over the western province of Hama, Syrian state television said early Friday, citing a military statement.

The “Missile Barrier” was routed from the northern part of the Lebanese city of Tripoli at 12:40 (22:40 GMT) on Friday, the statement said, describing the attack as “Israeli aggression”. The rockets were aimed at the town of Masyaf in the Hama countryside, the military said.

“Our air force intercepted the missiles and lowered most of them,” it added.

The official SANA news agency reported explosions in Masyaf.

There was no immediate comment from Israel.

Shortly before the raids, Israeli warplanes were heard flying over neighboring Lebanon, with some Beirut residents reporting seeing missiles in the air over the city.

Israel regularly violates Lebanese airspace and has launched hundreds of raids in Syria since the civil war began in 2011. The attacks have targeted government troops, allied Iranian forces and fighters from the Lebanese group Hezbollah.

Israel rarely confirms details of its operations in Syria, but says Iran’s presence in support of President Bashar al-Assad is a threat and that it will continue its attacks.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported attacks on Masyaf, saying Israel was “likely responsible”.

The war monitor said the attack was aimed at “positions from regime forces and Iranian – backed militias” without giving further details.

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