Syria's air defenses intercept Israeli missiles: state media

Syria's air defenses intercept Israeli missiles: state media
Syrian air defenses targeted Israeli missiles south of the capital Damascus. (File/AFP)
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Updated 31 August 2020

Syria's air defenses intercept Israeli missiles: state media

Syria's air defenses intercept Israeli missiles: state media
  • A military source said Israel is ‘targeting the southern region with...missiles and our air defenses are confronting them’
  • Israel declined to comment on the report

DAMASCUS: A Syrian military official said Israel’s military fired missiles Monday night on areas south of the capital Damascus.
The unnamed military official gave no further details adding that Syrian air defenses opened fire on “hostile targets.”
It was not clear what the targets were but state TV said the strikes were carried by warplanes flying Syria’s Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The air raids started shortly before 11 p.m. (2000 GMT).
Residents of the capital Damascus said they heard explosions south of the city.
An opposition war monitor said Israel’s military targeted military posts south of Damascus. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian air defenses were responding to the attack.
Israel rarely comments on such reports, but is believed to have carried out scores of raids targeting Iran’s military presence in Syria. In the past three months alone, Syria has accused Israel of carrying out at least eight air raids on its territory. The last reported strikes came on July 20.
Iran is a key ally of the Syrian government in the nearly decade-long civil war. Israel views Iran as a regional menace and has vowed to prevent any permanent Iranian military buildup in Syria, particularly near the frontier.
In recent months, Israeli officials have also expressed concern that Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Lebanese militant group that operates in Syria, is trying to establish facilities to produce precision-guided missiles. Tensions have also risen along the Israel-Lebanon border.
During last month's strikes on Syria, a Hezbollah member was killed and the Lebanese militant group vowed to retaliate against Israel. On Sunday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah vowed to kill Israeli soldiers whenever they kill Hezbobllah fighters in Syria.


Lebanon inks final deal for 2.1 mln doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

Lebanon inks final deal for 2.1 mln doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
Updated 57 min 38 sec ago

Lebanon inks final deal for 2.1 mln doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

Lebanon inks final deal for 2.1 mln doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
  • The vaccines are expected to arrive in batches starting February
  • The ministry is also cooperating with the private sector to secure 2 million vaccine doses from Astrazenca and Sinopharm

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s caretaker health minister signed a final deal on Sunday to secure 2.1 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine as the country battles a steep rise in infections.
The vaccines are expected to arrive in batches starting February, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry is also cooperating with the private sector to secure 2 million vaccine doses from Astrazenca and Sinopharm, it added.
Lebanon is under a three-week lockdown that ends on Feb. 1 and a strict 24-hour curfew until Jan. 25 after lax measures over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period led to a spike in cases.
In addition to these deals, Lebanon has also signed up for 2.7 million doses to be delivered through COVAX, the global scheme backed by the World Health Organization to provide vaccines to poorer countries.