False alarm sets of Assad's regime air defense system

Rear view of the air defense missile system on self propelled launching weapon. (Shutterstock)
Updated 17 April 2018
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False alarm sets of Assad's regime air defense system

  • False alarm sets off Syrian air defense systems and lights up the skies above Damascus and Homs
  • Earlier reports of attacks on airfields near Damascus and Homs were reversed by state media

BEIRUT: A false alarm set off Syrian air defense systems early on Tuesday, the military said, denying earlier reports of an “outside aggression” and incoming airstrikes and underscoring the chaotic nature of the multiple actors in Syria’s theater of war.
Syrian state media reported hours earlier that the country confronted yet another assault, shooting down missiles over the central region of Homs and a suburb of Damascus before dawn.

State television did not mention three missiles that were fired at Dumair military airport, northeast of Damascus, that pro-Iranian Hezbollah’s media service reported were intercepted by Syrian air defenses.
The reports did not say who carried out the alleged strikes, adding to Mideast jitters only days after the United States, Britain and France conducted airstrikes targeting Syria’s alleged chemical weapons facilities in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack that they blamed on the Syrian government.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights, which follows the war through a network of activists on the ground, reported the sound of explosions and lightning-like flashes in the skies over Homs and near Damascus, without saying what it was.
The government-run Syrian Central Media said six missiles targeted the Shayrat air base in Homs on Tuesday, adding that Syrian air defenses shot down most of them. The Syrian outlet also reported another, separate airstrike on the Dumayr air base, in a suburb of the capital, Damascus.
The Pentagon denied any American military activity in the area. There was no comment from Israel, which frequently carries out airstrikes in Syria but rarely acknowledges them.
Only hours later, Syrian TV carried a military statement saying that air defenses fired a number of missiles because of a “false alarm,” without providing more information. 


Israel army destroys Palestinian attacker’s West Bank home

Updated 17 December 2018
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Israel army destroys Palestinian attacker’s West Bank home

  • Three people were injured by rubber bullets, official Palestinian news agency Wafa said
  • Hundreds of soldiers surrounded the house in a suburb of Tulkarm in the north of the West Bank

NABLUS, Palestinian Territories: Israeli forces destroyed the home of a Palestinian accused of killing two Israelis, in an army raid that triggered clashes overnight Monday, an AFP journalist said.
Three people were injured by rubber bullets, official Palestinian news agency Wafa said.
Hundreds of soldiers surrounded the house in a suburb of Tulkarm in the north of the West Bank, the AFP journalist said.
The army destroyed the walls of Ashraf Naalwa’s home on the ground and first floors of the house, before withdrawing on Monday morning.
The Israeli military did not immediately comment on the operation.
Naalwa, 23, was killed by the Israeli army last Thursday after a two-month manhunt.
He was accused of killing two Israeli colleagues in an industrial zone near the northern West Bank Jewish settlement of Barkan.
The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas claimed Naalwa as one of its fighters.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had ordered “the acceleration of the demolition of terrorists’ homes” in the wake of the recent wave of attacks.
Late Sunday, Israeli ministers gave initial approval to a bill that would allow the army to move family members of Palestinian attackers to a different West Bank location.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett, whose Jewish Home faction was behind the bill, said it would help deter would-be assailants.
“The terrorists have stopped fearing us,” he said in a statement, noting that the justice ministry opposes the proposed legislation.