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Two civilians killed in Israeli attack near Syrian capital

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DAMASCUS: Syria’s state media say an Israeli missile attack has killed two civilians and left material damage on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus.

Israel carried out the attack at about 5am (03:00 GMT) on Monday, hitting positions south of Damascus, Syria’s official SANA news agency said, citing a military source.

“[The] air defence systems intercepted the missiles, downing most of them,” SANA said.

“Two civilians were killed and some material damage was incurred,” it added, without specifying how the deaths occurred.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a monitoring group, said the missiles hit “a weapons and ammunition depot operated by Iran-backed militias near the Damascus International Airport”.

The group, which relies on an extensive network of sources inside Syria, said it could not confirm civilian deaths.

According to SOHR, Israel has carried out raids in Syria at least seven times since the start of the year.

Last month, Israeli raids near Damascus killed two Syrian soldiers and four Iran-backed militia fighters, the war monitor said.

Since war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of air attacks inside the country, targeting government positions as well as allied Iran-backed forces and fighters of the Shia group Hezbollah. Israel rarely acknowledges such operations. It did not comment on the latest attack. It has however acknowledged that it targets bases of Iran-allied militias, such as Hezbollah, that fight on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

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