Syria intercepts suspected Israeli missile 'coming from Lebanon'

Syria intercepts suspected Israeli missile 'coming from Lebanon'
The Syrian regime has confirmed it shot down a ‘hostile target’ coming from the direction of Lebanon, implying Israeli military action against Hizballah-linked targets in Syria.
2 min read
16 August, 2019
Assad's backers Russia have given the regime advanced anti-aircraft missiles [Getty]
Syria's state-run media say the regime's air defences responded to a "hostile target", destroying a missile before it reached a central Syrian town overnight.

SANA news agency said on Friday the projectile had entered the Syrian airspace overnight from Lebanon, heading toward the town of Masyaf in Hama province.

The report implied the missile was fired by Israel, who have not issued a comment. However, the Israeli military is known to carry out strikes on Hizballah-linked targets inside Syria and Iran and rarely confirms its involvement.

Local sources told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that several successive blasts were heard in Masyaf.

Syrian military posts in Masyaf have previously been hit in suspected Israeli strikes.

Russia, Assad’s military backer, upgraded Syrian air defence systems last year to the S-300 system. 

Meanwhile, fierce fighting continued in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib as pro-regime forces made advances against rebels in the region.

Read more: Caught on camera: Don't mistake Assad's war crimes for 'tragedy'

By Friday morning, Assad-aligned forces had seized the villages of Tal Eys, Tal al-Sakhr, Kfar Ain and Khirbet Morshed west of the town of Khan Sheikhoun and were combing nearby farms.

The Syrian regime, along with its Russian ally, has led a devastating offensive on the Idlib and Hama provinces since late April in an attempt to win back some of the last remaining rebel-held areas after eight years of brutal civil war.

The offensive has gained momentum in recent days with its troops scoring significant advances, edging closer to Khan Sheikhoun, a major rebel-held town.

 Agencies contributed to this report.

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