WED 19 - 6 - 2019
Jun 12, 2019
The Daily Star
Syrian air defense downs Israeli missiles: state media
DAMASCUS: Syrian air defense shot down Israeli missiles targeting the south of the country Wednesday, state media said, as a monitoring group reported positions of the regime's ally Hezbollah had been hit.
The attack was launched in the early hours of the morning against the Tall al-Hara sector near the Golan Heights, according to official news agency SANA, which said there had been no casualties.
It did not specify what had been targeted.
SANA also accused Israel of conducting an "electronic war" and "jamming" Syrian radar.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said the strikes had targeted Hezbollah positions in two locations, but without causing any casualties.
"All the positions hit had the Lebanese Hezbollah there," Observatory head Rami Abdel-Rahman said.
The missiles targeted Tall al-Hara, a hill in the southern province of Daraa where Hezbollah has radars and the regime has air defense batteries, said the Observatory, which relies on sources inside Syria for its information.
It also targeted barracks for the Lebanese fighters in the abandoned town of Qunaitra on the Syrian-controlled side of a demilitarized zone between both countries in the Golan.
The town has been largely in ruins for over four decades since it was razed by Israeli forces before they withdrew under a 1974 United Nations agreement.
Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria since the beginning of the conflict in 2011, targeting forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and the regime's allies Iran and Hezbollah.
Earlier this month, Israel struck multiple positions held by regime forces over a period of 24 hours, killing 15 combatants according to the Observatory.
In January, it targeted Iranian positions in Syria in what it said was a response to an Iranian missile strike from inside the country.
That attack killed 21, mostly Iranians.
Israel says it is determined to prevent its arch foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, where Tehran backs Assad in the country's eight-year war, which has left more than 370,000 people dead and displaced millions.
Israel and Hezbollah have fought several wars, the latest in 2006.
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