Smoke billows following a reported Syrian government air strike on the town of Atareb in the rebel-held western countryside of Syria's Aleppo province on February 13, 2020 as regime forces push on with their offensive in the country's northwest. (Photo by AFP)

Syrian air defence intercepts missile attack: Report


Syrian air defences intercepted missiles over the capital Damascus on Thursday, state media reported, without specifying the source of the attack.

"Our air defences intercepted hostile targets over the skies of Damascus," state agency SANA said. It said the "missiles were launched from over the occupied Golan Heights".

Several missiles were intercepted before they could reach their targets, it added.

A Syrian army source quoted by SANA said the attack took place at 11:45 pm (9:45 GMT), when an AFP correspondent in Damascus heard large blasts.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights blamed the attack on Israel, which has not claimed responsibility.

The Britain-based monitor said the attack targeted Iran-backed militias near the capital.

It said some missiles hit their intended targets, which included a weapons depot near the airport.

Israel has repeatedly bombed Iranian-backed militia targets in Syria, saying its goal was to end Tehran's military presence in the country.

Earlier this month, Israeli airstrikes killed 23 Syrian and foreign fighters in Syria.

Three Iranians and seven Tehran-backed foreign fighters were among those killed in the February 6 raids, according to the Observatory.