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Suspected Israeli Missiles Target Syrian, Iranian Positions Near Damascus

A picture taken early on January 21, 2019 shows Syrian air defense batteries responding to what the Syrian state media said were Israeli missiles targeting Damascus.

Damascus, Dec 23, 2019 (AFP) -

Syrian air defenses on Sunday fired on Israeli missiles, shooting down one that fell outside Damascus, the official Syrian news agency Sana reported.

The "hostile missiles came from the Occupied Territories," Sana said, referring to Israel, adding that one missile came down in Aqraba, a suburb southeast of Damascus.

An Israeli army spokeswoman contacted by AFP said Israel does not comment on reports in foreign media.

According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, there were three explosions in the Damascus suburbs after the missiles targeted "Syrian regime and Iranian positions".

It said at least two missiles came down near Aqraba.

The Observatory added that ambulances were observed heading towards where the missiles hit.

Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011, the Israeli military has conducted hundreds of strikes on Syrian territory against Iranian targets and pro-Tehran militias, who are allied with the Damascus regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Iran and Hezbollah are sworn enemies of the Jewish state and have backed the Assad's forces with advisers and fighters.

An Israeli strike on November 20 killed 21 pro-regime fighters, including 16 foreigners and also two civilians, according to the watchdog Observatory.

In July, six Iranians and three pro-regime Syrian fighters were killed in reported Israeli missile strikes in the southern provinces of Daraa and Quneitra in July, according to the Observatory.

A month later, the Israeli army carried out a strike in Aqraba, killing two Hezbollah and one Iranian fighter.