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Syria: 'Israeli air strikes' near Damascus leave one soldier wounded

Syrian state media says overnight raids targeted several positions in the capital's southwest
Syrian air defences respond to Israeli missiles targeting south of the capital, Damascus, on 20 July 2020 (AFP/File photo)

Israeli air strikes hit the Syrian capital early on Wednesday and wounded one soldier, state news agency Sana said.

The raids targeted the countryside southwest of Damascus with Syrian air defences downing a number of the missiles, according to Sana. 

“The Israeli enemy carried out an aerial act of aggression from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan, targeting some sites southwest of Damascus,” said a military source speaking to the agency.

Israel has for years carried out attacks on what it has described as Iran-linked targets in Syria, where Tehran's influence has grown since it began supporting President Bashar al-Assad in a civil war that started in 2011.

The strikes are part of an escalation of what has been a low-intensity conflict with a goal of slowing Iran's growing entrenchment in Syria, Israeli military experts say.

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Fighters allied to Iran, including Hezbollah, hold sway in vast areas in eastern, southern, and northwestern Syria and in several suburbs around the capital.

Attacks also targeting Syria's airports and paralysing aviation have become more frequent in recent months.

At the start of this year, suspected Israeli strikes attacked Damascus international airport, putting it temporarily out of service and killing two Syrian soldiers.

In February, at least five people were killed when suspected Israeli air strikes hit residential neighbourhoods and other locations in Damascus.

In February, the Aleppo international airport was also attacked, twice putting it out of service.

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