Monday, January 21, 2019

Israel confirms it attacked Iranians in Syria

A missile over Damascus (Youssef Badawi/EPA)

The Israeli military carried out overnight attacks on Iranian targets in Syria, while Syrian state media reported the country's air defences shot down "hostile targets".
Russia's defence control centre was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying Syrian military air defences destroyed more than 30 Israeli cruise missiles and guided bombs during the raids.
An attack targeting an airport in southeastern Damascus killed four Syrian soldiers and wounded six, the military centre was quoted by RIA news agency as saying on Monday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitor, said the toll of the raids was 11 people
."We have started striking Iranian Quds targets in Syrian territory. We warn the Syrian Armed Forces against attempting to harm Israeli forces or territory," Israel's military said in a statement in the early hours of Monday. The Israeli military's confirmation that it was striking targets inside Syria as the operation was ongoing was "highly unusual".
News agency reports quoted witnesses in the Syrian capital, Damascus, as saying that loud explosions rang out in the night sky. Syrian state news agency SANA said the country's military air defences thwarted "hostile targets" on Sunday night and shot down several of them, without elaborating.
The attacks followed cross-border attacks on Sunday in which Syria said it repelled an Israeli air raid.
Israel said it intercepted a rocket fired at the occupied Golan Heights.
The military statement did not specify where the rocket had been launched from.
"During the strike, dozens of Syrian surface-to-air missiles were launched, despite clear warnings to avoid such fire. In response, several of the Syrian Armed Forces' aerial defense batteries were targeted," the Isrtaeli military said in a statement.
Following the strike, the commander of the Iran's air force, Brig. Gen. Aziz Nasirzadeh, was quoted as saying that "The young people in the air force are fully ready and 'impatient' to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth." The quote appeared on the Young Journalist Club, a website supervised by state television. 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Nasirzadeh's comments on Monday, affirming Manelis' statement and saying Israel will not abide by Iran's establishment in Syria and its threat to destroy Israel.

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