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Syria reports Israeli attack near Damascus for third time in less than a month

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Syrian state media reported an Israeli attack near the capital Damascus before dawn on Wednesday morning, the third such report from Syria this month.

Public broadcaster SANA said Syrian air defenses responded to the Israeli attack.

“Our air defenses faced Israeli aggression over the outskirts of Damascus,” the SANA news agency said.

Syrian state media quoted an unidentified Syrian military official as saying surface-to-surface missiles were fired from northern Israel at military positions near Damascus.

Reporters from SANA and AFP said there were sounds of explosions in the area.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

SANA released a video claiming to show an air defense missile streaking across the night sky.

The Syrian military claims to shoot down incoming missiles after nearly all alleged Israeli strikes, which Israeli military officials and civil defense analysts largely dismiss as empty boasting.

Syria reported two more Israeli attacks near Damascus earlier this month, including a rare daytime airstrike.

After the alleged daytime attack, local media reported explosions near the town of Masyaf, which is believed to be used as a base for Iranian forces and pro-Iranian militias and has been repeatedly targeted in recent years in attacks attributed to Israel.

In early March, Israeli strikes near Damascus killed two Iranian Revolutionary Guard officers. The guards vowed revenge for the killings and later launched strikes on what they claimed was an Israeli “strategic center” in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Israeli military typically does not comment on specific strikes in Syria, but has acknowledged carrying out hundreds of sorties against Iranian-backed groups trying to gain a foothold in the country. He says he is also attacking arms shipments supposedly destined for these groups.

Israeli strikes have continued in Syrian airspace, largely controlled by Russia, even since Moscow began its invasion of Ukraine.

Israel found itself at odds with Russia as it increasingly supported Ukraine. However, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has avoided direct criticism of Russia as Israel seeks to maintain its freedom of movement in Syrian skies.

An Israeli military drone crashed in Syria on Tuesday. The Israel Defense Forces said the incident was under investigation.

No sensitive information was lost due to the crash and there was no risk of intelligence being extracted from the device, the military said.

Small off-the-shelf drones used by the military for simple reconnaissance periodically crash or are shot down in foreign territory.

AFP and AP contributed to this report.

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