Syria reports Israeli airstrikes on targets in Damascus area

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Israeli airstrikes targeted sites in the vicinity of Damascus early Thursday, marking the third such strikes in a week, Syrian state media reported.

The Syrian military said that Israeli missiles were fired at posts near Damascus around 12:30 a.m. and that its air defenses had “confronted the missile aggression and downed most of them.” There were no casualties reported.

The attack follows similar strikes Friday and Monday. Monday’s rare daytime airstrike wounded a soldier, according to the Syrian army.

The strike Friday was the first such attack since Sept. 17, when an attack on Damascus International Airport and nearby military posts south of the Syrian capital killed five soldiers.

The Israeli army did not release a statement on the airstrikes. Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years, but rarely acknowledges or discusses the operations.

Israel has acknowledged, however, that it targets bases of Iran-allied militant groups, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

The Israeli strikes come amid a wider shadow war between Israel and Iran. The attacks on airports in Damascus and Aleppo were over fears they were being used to funnel Iranian weaponry into the country.

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