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Israeli airstrikes target Syrian capital Damascus

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The Jerusalem Post has reported that Israeli airstrikes had targeted sites near the Syrian capital Damascus on Thursday night, the second airstrike to hit within the past week. According to the Syrian news agency, SANA Israel launched the strike at around 11pm on Thursday 14 April 2022 from the direction of the occupied northern Syrian Golan Heights. SANA reported military sources stating the Syrian army’s air defences were able to intercept some of the Israeli missiles, resulting in material damage only.

The strike followed a daytime Israeli airstrike on Saturday 9 April 2022, allegedly carried out from over northern Lebanon. The Jerusalem Post reported material damage from the strike, which hit ‘pro-Iranian militia and scientific research sites near the Syrian town of Masyaf’.

The attacks follow previous airstrikes that killed two civilians and caused material damage on the outskirts of Damascus in early March 2022. Aljazeera reported that a UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) monitoring group said the missiles had hit “a weapons and ammunition depot operated by Iran-backed militias near the Damascus International Airport”.

Previous Israeli strikes have been condemned by Syria’s neighbour–Iran. In a statement on 11 April 2022, the Iranian Foreign Ministry condemned the ‘repeated attacks’, stating the actions of Israel ‘pose a real threat to peace and security in the region and [that] they are flagrant violation of international law and international legitimacy’.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the annexure of the Golan Heights by Israel in 1981. According to Syrian media, Israeli occupation forces imposed a military siege on the people of Golan, cutting off electricity, preventing food delivery and attempting to isolate the people of Golan.

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