x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 14 December 2017

New 'Israeli air strikes' near Damascus - Syrian state media

The strikes are believed to have targeted a Syrian military facility in the Damascus countryside on Monday night

Israeli air strikes are believed to have been carried out on Jamraya, a suburb of Damascus, on December 4, 2017. Bassam Khabieh / Reuters
Israeli air strikes are believed to have been carried out on Jamraya, a suburb of Damascus, on December 4, 2017. Bassam Khabieh / Reuters

Syrian state media on Monday said Israel had fired missiles at a Syrian military facility in the Damascus countryside, adding that Syrian air defence systems had intercepted three of the missiles.

"Our air defences are confronting an Israeli missile attack on one of our sites in the Damascus suburbs and three of the targets were downed," state news agency SANA said, adding the attacks happened at 11:30 p.m. Monday.

A witness told Reuters late on Monday three strong explosions were heard from the direction of Jamraya, west of Damascus. Another witness said thick smoke could be seen rising over the area.

Jamraya contains a military research facility which was hit by what was believed to have been an Israeli attack in 2013.

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Israel has acknowledged carrying out airstrikes in Syria since the outbreak of the bloody war in the country six years ago to stop arms deliveries to Hizbollah forces.

In October, Israel said it had attacked Syrian government artillery after fire from across the armistice line hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, and warned it would step up such retaliation in the future.

On Saturday, Syrian state media said Israeli missiles struck a military position south of Damascus.

War monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, from its sources, said planes believed to be Israeli had fired missiles into the Jamraya area.

"Israeli planes targeted the Jamraya region near Damascus including a scientific research centre and warehouses where weapons and ammunition of the regime and its allies were stocked," Rami Abdel Rahmane, director of the Britain-based monitoring group told AFP.