DAMASCUS: Syrian air defences on Thursday targeted and downed a number of "hostile targets" close to the capital Damascus, state media said.
"Our air defences fired on hostile targets over the Kisweh area and downed them," the official SANA news agency reported, citing a military source.
Shells hit Syria's Idlib as militants prepare for assault
The area south of Damascus has been targeted by alleged Israeli strikes in the past, which a monitor said have killed members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards force and other pro-Iranian militias.
Head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdel Rahman said there are "weapons depots belonging to the Lebanese Hezbollah (group) as well as Iranian forces" in Kisweh.
Kremlin says situation in Syria’s Idlib Province of heightened concern
Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in neighbouring Syria against what it says are Iranian targets. Syrian air defences in September opened fire to intercept alleged Israeli missiles targeting ammunition depots in the northwestern province of Latakia, but instead downed a Russian jet. Abdel Rahman said Thursday was the first time Syria's air defences had been called into action since the incident on September 17 in which 15 Russians were killed.
Moscow pinned responsibility for the downing of its jet on Israel, saying its plane used the larger Russian one for cover, an allegation Israel disputed.
Erdogan says attack on Idlib would be a massacre
Following the incident, Russia sent advanced air defence missiles to Damascus. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russia his country would continue to hit hostile targets in Syria to prevent Iran from establishing a military presence across the border. He added that Israel would "continue security coordination" with Russia.
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