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Syrian state media: Air defenses down Israeli missiles near Damascus airport

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

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

During the more than seven-year conflict in neighboring 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 defense 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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