Syrian air defences shoot down 'hostile targets': state media

Blasts in the south of Damascus

It was apparently a highly unusual retaliatory attack in response to an airstrike earlier in the day, which was widely attributed to Israel.

Syrian air defenses repelled an Israeli air raid into its territory, successfully intercepting seven missiles fired by incoming F-16 fighter jets, the Russian military said.

"It is will be hard for Israel to absorb this without a response", he said.

A "huge explosion" near a military intelligence office in Damascus Sunday left a number of dead and wounded, a war monitor said, after state TV reported early indications suggested a "terrorist act".

According to a Sputnik correspondent, another series of powerful explosions occurred over the Syrian capital at 1:15 local time on Monday.

SANA reports that overnight to January 12 Israel carried out a strike on a warehouse near the Damascus airport. "It's permanent", he said.

According to Syrian opposition media, approximately 10 missiles were fired at targets near the airport and in al-Kiswah.

Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said that Sunday's blast appeared to be the first attack in Damascus in over a year.

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The Syrian regime mouthpiece SANA said the military's air defense systems had "effectively addressed" the incoming Israeli attack and "prevented it from achieving any of its objectives".

The military's statement did not immediately specify where the rocket was launched from.

The air strike was delivered by four Israeli F-16 fighters from the Mediterranean at 13:32 Moscow time (1032 GMT) against the Duwali worldwide airport in southeastern Damascus, according to TASS.

"The airport's infrastructure was not damaged".

The ski resort area was not shut down, following the exchange, nor were residents of the area given additional security instructions, the army said. These kinds of flights have been seen as suspicious over the past year amid allegations that Iran delivers weapons to Syria and Hezbollah using different airlines as cover.

"The explosion took place near a security branch in the south of the city". Israel has cited bases near al-Kiswah as being used by pro-Iranian militias.

Syria's air defense has shot down several targets, the agency added, without providing further details. As a result, it is subject to sanctions by the US Treasury Department. He also admitted that Israel carried out a strike overnight to January 12 at a warehouse storing weapons at the global airport of Damascus.

Israel has pledged to stop its main enemy Iran from entrenching itself militarily in neighboring Syria.

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