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Israel strikes facility in Syria's Homs: Report

Syrian army reportedly responds by firing surface-to-air missile in direction of Israeli aircraft
Israel has conducted periodical air strikes in Syria (AFP)

An Israeli air strike targeted a copper factory south of the Syrian city of Homs on Wednesday, a commander in the pro-Damascus alliance told Reuters.

The Syrian army responded by firing a surface-to-air missile in the direction of the aircraft, the commander said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment. Israel's Channel 10 said no aircraft were hit and they returned safely to base.

The strike targeted Hisya, an industrial town 35km south of Homs and 112km north of Damascus, the commander said. He did not give details of any casualties.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based organisation that reports on the war, said the air strike had targeted a military installation.

Pro-Syrian government media outlets, including Al-Mayadeen channel, said the Israeli attack was intended to strike a "security facility" in Homs.

The Israeli air force says it has struck arms convoys of the Syrian military and Hezbollah almost 100 times in recent years. It does not normally confirm strikes in Syria. 

In September, Israeli strikes hit a weapons depot near Damascus airport reportedly belonging to the Lebanese group Hezbollah, which is allied with the Syrian government.

And in April, Syria's government accused Israel of firing several missiles at another military position near Damascus airport, triggering a huge explosion.

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Israel has remained quiet over the accusations, but has repeatedly warned it stands ready to take military action to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining advanced weaponry.

Israeli officials want to curtail Iranian influence in Syria, where Tehran-backed groups have played a critical role fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad's government during the conflict that erupted in 2011.

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