Syrian air defense downs Israeli missiles

Syrian air defense batteries respond to Israeli missiles targeting Damascus in this picture taken on January 21, 2019. (AFP file photo)
Updated 13 June 2019
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Syrian air defense downs Israeli missiles

  • The attack was launched against the Tall Al-Hara sector located near the Golan Heights

DAMASCUS: Syrian air defense shot down Israeli missiles targeting the south of the country Wednesday, state media said, as a monitor reported positions of the regime’s Lebanese ally Hezbollah had been hit.

The attack was launched in the early hours of the morning against the Tall Al-Hara sector near the Golan Heights, according to official news agency SANA, which said there had been no casualties.

It did not specify what had been targeted.

SANA also accused Israel of conducting an “electronic war” and “jamming” Syrian radar.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the strikes had targeted positions of the Hezbollah Shiite movement in two locations, but without causing any casualties.

“All the positions hit had the Lebanese Hezbollah there,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The missiles targeted Tall Al-Hara, a hill in the southern province of Daraa where Hezbollah has radars and the regime has air defense batteries, said the Observatory, which relies on sources inside Syria for its information.

It also targeted barracks for the Lebanese fighters in the abandoned town of Quneitra on the Syrian-controlled side of a demilitarized zone between both countries in the Golan.

The town has been largely in ruins for over four decades since it was razed by Israeli forces before they withdrew under a 1974 United Nations agreement.

Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria since the beginning of the conflict in 2011, targeting forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and the regime’s allies Iran and Hezbollah.

Earlier this month, Israel struck multiple positions held by regime forces over a period of 24 hours, killing 15 combatants according to the Observatory.

In January, it targeted Iranian positions in Syria in what it said was a response to an Iranian missile strike from inside the country.

That attack killed 21, mostly Iranians.

Israel says it is determined to prevent its arch foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, where Tehran backs Assad in the country’s eight-year war, which has left more than 370,000 people dead and displaced millions.

Israel and Hezbollah have fought several wars, the latest in 2006.


Former Israeli PM Ehud Barak stages return to ‘topple Netanyahu’

Updated 24 min 58 sec ago
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Former Israeli PM Ehud Barak stages return to ‘topple Netanyahu’

  • Speaking at a Tel Aviv press conference, Barak called for an end to ‘Netanyahu’s rule’
  • Barak retired from politics in 2013, but has been an outspoken critic of Netanyahu since

JERUSALEM: Israel’s former Prime Minister Ehud Barak has announced he is returning to politics and is forming a new party that will aim to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in upcoming elections.
Speaking at a Tel Aviv press conference Wednesday, Barak called for an end to “Netanyahu’s rule with the radicals, racists and corrupt, with the Messianists and his corrupt leadership.”
The 77-year-old Barak, who was once Netanyahu’s army commander, served as military chief and then prime minister from 1999-2000. Most recently, he served as Netanyahu’s defense minister. He retired from politics in 2013, but has been an outspoken critic of Netanyahu since.
Israel will hold a second parliamentary election in September after Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition following April’s vote.