September 15, 2018 / 7:37 PM / 7 days ago

Air defences down Israeli missiles near Damascus airport - Syrian state media

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian military air defences downed several missiles that Israel fired in an act of “aggression” near Damascus airport on Saturday, Syrian state media said.

FILE PHOTO: A poster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is seen on the main road to the airport in Damascus, Syria April 14, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

An Israeli military spokeswoman said Israel does not comment on foreign reports.

During the more than seven-year conflict in neighbouring Syria, Israel has grown deeply alarmed by the expanding clout of its arch enemy Iran - a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Israel’s air force has struck scores of targets it describes as Iranian deployments or arms transfers to Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement in the war.

“Our air defence systems thwarted an Israeli missile aggression on Damascus International Airport,” Syrian state news agency SANA cited a military source as saying.

Witnesses at a major trade fair in the capital Damascus said they saw flares shooting up into the night sky.

Reporting by Ellen Francis in Beirut and Omar Fahmy in Cairo; Additional reporting by Kinda Makieh in Damascus and Maayan Lubell in Jerusalem; Editing by Toby Chopra

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