05:33 GMT16 January 2021
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    The Syrian capital was subjected to air attacks early Thursday morning, with state media saying air defences managed to down the majority of the incoming missiles before they reached their targets.

    Eight troops were injured and some material damage was caused as a result of Thursday morning’s airstrikes on Damascus and other Syrian cities, a Syrian military source has said.

    According to the source, Israeli warplanes conducted two waves of strikes. One of them took place at 1:12 a.m. local time, and targeted military facilities in the vicinity of Damascus. A second wave was carried out at 1:41 a.m., and targeted positions in Daraa and Kuneitra in southern Syria.

    The military source confirmed that the strikes were launched from the Golan Heights (part of which has been occupied by Israel since 1967) and from southern Lebanon’s airspace. Lebanon has often been used by the Israeli Air Force as a staging ground in a bid to secure the element of surprise and evade Syrian air defences.

    “Air defences managed to destroy a significant number of the attacking missiles,” the source said, adding that “the Israeli escalation will not save the terrorists in Idlib or Aleppo from destruction.”

    Israel Refrains From Commenting on Strikes

    The Israeli military did not comment on the attacks. Speaking in a telephone briefing on Thursday morning, Israel Defence Forces spokesman Jonathan Conricus said he would “not comment on foreign media reports about events in Syria”.

    According to media reports, the targets of Thursday morning’s strikes included Damascus’s Mezzah district, where the Al-Mezzah Military Airport is situated. Another reported target was the dislocation point of the 75th Brigade of the Syrian Army, in the vicinity of the village of al-Maquilbiya, and the Centre for Scientific Research in Jamaria.

    Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes on Syria in recent years, targeting what Tel Aviv claims are ‘Iranian’ or ‘Iran-backed’ forces in the war-torn country, which allegedly threaten Israel. Syrian authorities have repeatedly blasted Israel’s actions, and appealed to the United Nations over the IDF’s aggression and violation of its airspace. Strikes against Syria have declined significantly since October 2018, when the country was provided a batch of S-300 air defence systems following a friendly fire incident. Along with Syria, Israel has recently stepped up attacks against what it says are Iran-backed forces in Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, and Iraq. Israel rarely admits responsibility for its military operations abroad.


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