Israeli aircrafts targeted Iranian forces near Damascus that it said were planning to launch armed drones at targets in Israel. In this photo released by the Syrian regime news agency SANA, shows missiles flying into the sky near international airport, in Damascus, Syria, Jan. 21, 2019. The Israeli military has issued a statement saying it is attacking Iranian military targets in Syria. (AP) Israel says its air force carried out air strikes in Syria to prevent Iranian-linked militia from launching an attack with drones armed with explosives.
“The IDF, by Israeli aircraft, was able to thwart an Iranian attempt led by the Quds force from Syria to conduct an attack on Israeli targets in northern Israel using killer drones,” military spokesman Jonathan Conricus told reporters.
According to Conricus, the Israeli attack took place in Aqraba, southeast of Damascus, and targeted “a number of terror targets and military facilities belonging to the Quds force as well as Shia militias.”
The army had on Thursday prevented an earlier attempt to launch the drone attack, Conricus said, without providing further details.
“The threat was significant and these killer drones were capable of striking targets with significant capacity,” he said.
Witnesses in Damascus said they heard and saw explosions in the sky.
“The aggression is ongoing and air defences are confronting hostile targets and are downing most of them in the southern region,” regime media outlet SANA said, indicating areas south of Damascus.
Syrian regime forces said in a statement that “the majority of the Israeli missiles were destroyed before reaching their targets.”
Israeli air strikes
Since the beginning of the war in Syria in 2011, Israel has conducted hundreds of strikes in Syria, most of them against what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah targets.
Hezbollah is a Lebanese Shia group that supports Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad, who is also backed by Tehran.
Israel says it is determined to prevent its arch-foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, where Tehran backs Assad's regime.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies
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