Israel targeted Syrian air defences during Iran strikes

Israel targeted Syrian air defences during Iran strikes
An Israeli missile attack targeted air defence positions in Syria's southern region, according to Syrian state media.
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Security forces vehicles and locals on motorbikes in the district of Daraa al-Balad of Syria's southern city of Daraa, on September 12, 2021 [Getty]

Israeli strikes on Friday targeted a Syrian army position in the country's south, Syria's government and a monitor said, as US media reported Israel had hits its arch-rival Iran.

In a statement, Syria's defence ministry said "the Israeli enemy carried out an attack using missiles... targeting our air defence sites in the southern region" and causing material damage.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said Israel targeted an army radar position in the southern province of Daraa that had detected the entry of Israeli planes into Syria's airspace.

Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the UK-based Observatory, said the strikes took place "at a time when the Israeli air force was flying intensively over the Daraa region" without Syrian air defences taking any action.

The Israeli military has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria since the outbreak of a civil war in its northern neighbour in 2011, targeting the army and Iran-backed fighters.

But the strikes have increased since Israel's deadly rampage in the Gaza Strip since 7 October.

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Rayan Maarouf, who runs the Suwayda24 anti-government new website, had earlier told news agency AFP there had been strikes on a Syrian army radar position in Sweida province, without specifying their origin.

The latest strikes came as explosions were reported early on Friday in central Iran, with senior US officials reporting an Israeli attack.

Iran's Fars news agency reported three explosions near a military base in the province of Isfahan. The official news agency IRNA said there was "no major damage".

Israel warned it would hit back after Iran launched hundreds of drones and missiles against Israel overnight on 13 April in an unprecedented attack, which was retaliation for a deadly strike on its Damascus consulate.