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Syria downed 22 out of 24 Israeli missiles targeting Damascus, Homs, says Russia

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Syria's air defense system is seen responding to an Israeli missile strike in the sky over Damascus, Syria, on Jan 21, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

The Russian military says Syria’s air defenses shot down 22 out of the two dozen missiles launched by Israeli warplanes during a recent aggression on Syrian soil.

Rear Admiral Vadim Kulit, head of the Russian military’s Reconciliation Center in Syria, made the announcement after six Israeli fighter jets struck targets in the capital Damascus and the western city of Homs with the use of Lebanon’s airspace.

Kulit said the Syrian air defense units downed 22 of the 24 missiles launched by the Israeli warplanes with Russia-supplied air defense systems Pantsyr-S and Buk-M2.

Reporting the airstrikes late on Thursday, Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television network said Syria’s air defense units had intercepted “most of the incoming projectiles” fired during the Israeli raid.

Syrian state news agency SANA also reported that the country’s air defense units had responded to an Israeli airstrike targeting the Damascus countryside and the central province of Homs.

There were no official reports of casualties; however, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights which is close to Kurdish militants claimed that the Israeli missiles had targeted “arms depots and military positions” belonging to the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah in the Qarah area in the northwest of Damascus province, near Homs province and the Lebanese border.

Lebanese media reported that two missiles fell in the Qalamoun region on the rugged border between Lebanon and Syria.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry renewed later in the day its call on the United Nations and the Security Council to assume responsibilities based on the UN Charter and act firmly to prevent the recurrence of the Israeli regime’s attacks on Syria’s territory.

Syria and the Israeli regime are technically at war due to the latter’s 1967-present occupation of the Arab country’s Golan Heights.

The Israeli regime maintains a significant military presence in the territory, which—similar to the Lebanese airspace—it uses as one of its launchpads for attacks against the Syrian soil.

The attacks started to grow significantly in scale and frequency after 2011, when Syria found itself in the grip of rampant foreign-backed militancy and terrorism.

Tel Aviv claims that its attacks target alleged supplies that are headed for the Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah. On countless occasions, though, the strikes have targeted the reinforcement belonging to Syria’s military and its allies.

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