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Syria air defence downs Israeli missiles targeting Hizballah positions

The strikes were targeting Hizballah positions in Syria [File Photo: Getty]

Date of publication: 12 June, 2019

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the strikes had targeted positions of the Hizballah Shia movement in two locations, but without causing any casualties.

Syrian air defence shot down Israeli missiles targeting the south of the country on Wednesday, state media confirmed, as a monitor reported positions of the regime's Lebanese ally Hizballah had been hit.

The attack was launched in the early hours of the morning against the Tall al-Hara sector near the Golan Heights, according to official news agency SANA, which said there had been no casualties.

It did not specify what had been targeted.

SANA also accused Israel of conducting an "electronic war" and "jamming" Syrian radar.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the strikes had targeted positions of the Hizballah Shia movement in two locations, but without causing any casualties.

"All the positions hit had the Lebanese Hizballah there," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The missiles targeted Tall al-Hara, a hill in the southern province of Daraa where Hizballah has radars and the regime has air defence batteries, said the Observatory, which relies on sources inside Syria for its information.

It also targeted barracks for the Lebanese fighters in the abandoned town of Quneitra on the Syrian-controlled side of a demilitarised zone between both countries in the Golan.

Read more: On Lebanese-Israeli border, US and Iran are negotiating

The town has been largely in ruins for over four decades since it was razed by Israeli forces before they withdrew under a 1974 United Nations agreement.

Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria since the beginning of the conflict in 2011, targeting forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and the regime's allies Iran and Hizballah.

Earlier this month, Israel struck multiple positions held by regime forces over a period of 24 hours, killing 15 combatants according to the Observatory.

In January, it targeted Iranian positions in Syria in what it said was a response to an Iranian missile strike from inside the country.

That attack killed 21, mostly Iranians.

Israel says it is determined to prevent its arch foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, where Tehran backs Assad in the country's eight-year war, which has left more than 370,000 people dead and displaced millions.

Israel and Hizballah have fought several wars, the latest in 2006.

The latest reported strike comes after tensions between Iran and the United States flared in the region.

The stand-off had been simmering since the US last year withdrew from the 2015 nuclear treaty which Iran reached with major world powers.

In recent weeks Washington has accused Iran of alleged threats and deployed an aircraft carrier group and B-52 bombers to the Gulf.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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