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Israeli military strikes Iranian targets in Syria

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:47s - Published < > Embed
Israeli military strikes Iranian targets in Syria

Israeli military strikes Iranian targets in Syria

Israel launches strikes into Syria early on Monday as part of its increasingly open assault on Iran's presence there.

Grace Jermone reports.


Israeli military strikes Iranian targets in Syria

Israel has carried out multiple strikes on Iranian targets in Syria.

On Monday (January 21), fighter jets focused on the Iranian Quds force - targeting a munitions stores, a site at Damascus International airport, an intelligence site and a military training camp.

At least 11 people are reported to have been killed, but Syrian state media said the country's Russian air defense system had intercepted and destroyed most of the targets.

Witnesses in Damascus heard explosions going on for nearly an hour.

This video purportedly shows the Syrian army retaliating later on Monday.

The Israeli strikes were launched in response to cross-border fire over the weekend, when Syria says it repelled an air attack and the Israeli Defense Forces reported shooting down a rocket fired at a ski resort in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights.

(SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER, BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, SAYING: "We have a permanent policy, to strike at the Iranian entrenchment in Syria and hurt whoever tries to hurt us." Perceiving Iran as its biggest threat, Israel has repeatedly attacked Iranian targets and those of allied militia, aiming to push them far from its Syrian frontier.

The flare-up comes after President Donald Trump abruptly announced a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, saying the threat from Islamic State was over.

That decision sparked criticism, and forced some of his top aides to resign.

On Sunday (January 20), Brett McGurk - a former special envoy in the coalition against ISIS - said the withdrawal could create a power vacuum in Syria.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER SYRIA SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY, BRETT MCGURK, SAYING: "Having a presence on the ground of the critical force multiplier that has allowed us to defeat ISIS's physical space, to give them the intelligence to keep pressure on them, and pulling out all of those forces will have very significant repercussions which we need to be ready for".

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