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Israeli Rockets Rock Damascus - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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This file photo released by the Iranian Defense Ministry, claims to show the launch of the Fateh-110 short-range surface-to-surface missile by Iranian armed forces, at an undisclosed location.(AP)

This file photo released by the Iranian defense ministry claims to show the launch of the Fateh-110 short-range surface-to-surface missile by Iranian armed forces at an undisclosed location.(AP)

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Israeli military launched the airstrike on Syria in three days early on Sunday, targeting areas near Damascus where Iranian missiles destined for Lebanon’s Hezbollah were situated.

Syria’s official SANA news agency reported that Sunday’s attack targeted the Jamraya military research centre near Damascus, in the Eastern Ghouta region.

A Western intelligence source confirmed to Reuters that the operation hit Iranian-supplied missiles headed for Lebanon’s Hezbollah. The two previous strikes also had similar targets, which has been defended as justifiable by the United States: “In last night’s attack, as in the previous one, what was attacked were stores of Fateh-110 missiles that were in transit from Iran to Hezbollah,” the intelligence source said.

Online video footage uploaded by activists showed a series of explosions. One lit up the skyline of Damascus, while another sent up a tower of flames and secondary blasts.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported large explosions in the area of Jamraya, a military and scientific research facility northwest of Damascus, about 10 miles from the Lebanese border.

However, Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV said the research center in Jamraya was not hit. It added that an army supply center was targeted by the strike.

Al-Manar TV quoted unnamed Syrian security officials as saying that three sites, including military barracks, arms depots and air defense center, were targeted by the strike.

There was no immediate indication of how Syria would respond to Sunday’s attack. After Israel’s January raid, Damascus protested to the United Nations and the Syrian ambassador to Lebanon promised a “surprise decision,” but no direct military retaliation followed.

The uprising against Assad began with street protests that were met with force and grew into a bloody civil war in which the United Nations says at least 70,000 people have been killed.

Assad has lost control of large areas of north and eastern Syria, and is battling rebels on the fringes of Damascus.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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