Israeli and Syrian military trade claims on airstrikes
Israeli and Syrian military trade claims on airstrikes
Syria is locked in a civil war that has killed more than 360,000 people
20 January, 2019, 22:10
Syrian state news agency SANA quoted a military source as saying that Syrian air defenses "thwarted Israeli air strikes" during the daylight hours on Sunday. It said Israel fired six missiles on an area near Damascus International Airport, of which five were shot down and one diverted to nearby empty farmland.
Syrian state media also reported the attack.
Some reports said the sound of gunfire could be heard shortly after the explosion.
A "terrorist" has been arrested after a huge explosion in Damascus, Syrian state media has said, in a rare attack in the capital that has been largely insulated from violence over the past year.
A military spokeswoman told AFP the rocket was sacked from Syria.
The IDF declined to comment on the issue.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged an Israeli attack last week on what he called an Iranian arms cache in Syria, where Tehran provides Damascus with vital support.
The airport was not damaged and no casualties were reported, the spokesman said.
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For years, Israel has conducted airstrikes against Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria, which it considers threats to national security.
The airstrike on Damascus is said to have taken place after an Iranian plane had just landed in the Syrian capital and with a second on its way.
A UK-based activist group said that some people had been killed and injured in the blast.
The attack came on the anniversary of a Turkish military operation that evicted Kurdish fighters from the town, which is now is under the control of Turkey-backed Syrian opposition fighters.
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The tough government response has drawn worldwide criticism, while Bashir has blamed the violence on unidentified "conspirators". According to The New York Times , up to 28 have died in clashes, while Human Rights Watch now estimates the death toll at 40.
Syria, whose Arab League membership has been suspended since 2011, and Libya are not taking part in the meeting. Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said almost half of all refugees "come from our Arab world".
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