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Syria reports Israeli airstrikes in south

The news follows reports of suspected Israeli airstrikes against Iranian and Syrian military targets in the country in December and January.
Smoke billows following an Israeli airstrike targeting south of the capital Damascus, on July 20, 2020. - Israeli strikes south of the Syrian capital wounded seven Syrian soldiers, state media reported, in an attack which a war monitor said hit several positions of regime forces and Iran-backed militias. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Suspected Israeli airstrikes hit southern Syria late Wednesday evening.

Syria’s state-run SANA news outlet reported the airstrikes around 11:30 p.m. Syrian air defenses responded to the missiles, which hit in the country’s southern region.

SANA did not immediately provide further details, including on the targets and casualties. The capital Damascus is in southern Syria and Israel borders Syria to the south.

Israel does not directly comment on its military actions abroad, but is suspected of carrying out regular missile strikes in Syrian territory targeting both the Syrian military and allied Iranian and Lebanese forces. Syrian state media regularly reports the strikes, as does the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Syria most recently reported Israeli airstrikes in central Syria in late January. Israel also bombed Syrian air defense targets in late December, SANA reported at the time.

Syria and Israel have technically been in a state of war since Israel was established in 1948. Israel views the presence of Iran and the Lebanese group Hezbollah in Syria as a threat. The Syrian military does not respond to the airstrikes beyond attempting to shoot them down in Syria. Israel and Hezbollah do sometimes clash on the Israel-Lebanon border, on the other hand.

Iran and Hezbollah are in Syria to help the government in its fight against rebel groups. Iran had to reposition its forces in January due to the threat of Israeli strikes.

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