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Israel missile strikes a military base attributed to Iran near Damascus

Syrian anti-aircraft defense intercepted several of the rockets launched against a weapons depot

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Israel missile strikes a military base attributed to Iran near Damascus

A missile attack attributed to Israel has hit early this Saturday morning a military base near Damascus, according to Syrian Health news State agency. "Several ground-ground missiles were launched by Israeli enemy against positions of army, causing material damage," same source pointed out. The Syrian press said that capital's anti-aircraft defense systems intercepted three of rockets before y hit a quartering in Al Kiswa, 14 kilometres south of capital.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that missiles were directed at "Syrian military installations and regime allies," referring to Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Lebanese militia Hezbollah. This NGO, which has a network of informers on ground, pointed out that explosions were heard throughout capital, where partial blackouts were also recorded.

As usual in se cases, Israeli army declined to comment on attack. Beirut media cited by Israeli press indicated in turn that rockets were fired from Israeli aircraft that overflew Lebanese airspace, where y had simulated operations against local targets in a maneuver of Distraction.

Israel has attacked in Syrian territory on more than a hundred occasions of arsenals and arms transport convoys of Hezbollah, against whose combatants waged a full-scale war in Lebanon in 2006. The Shia militia has more than 100,000 short-and medium-range rockets, according to information from Israeli military intelligence. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government has been warning since last summer that it will prevent Iran and its allies from having military bases near its territory.

Following recent détente agreement for south of Syria signed by Russia (ally of Damascus) with United States and Jordan (which support opposition to regime), Israel has demanded creation of a zone of military exclusion for Chilean forces of at least 40 Kilometres of separation with Golan Heights, Syrian plateau occupied by Hebrew army since 1967.

A BBC investigation revealed last month that Iran was building a permanent base within enclosure of I division of Syrian Army in Al Kiswa, located about 50 kilometres from Golan Heights. The aerial images reproduced by British chain reflected development of military installation between January and October of this year, with construction and rehabilitation of at least five barracks.

Israeli force analysts quoted by daily Haaretz interpret that Iran is preparing for " next day" to final victory of President Bashar al-Assad's regime. With several hundred Revolutionary Guards and dozens of field instructors, he directs a multinational force comprising 7,000 Hezbollah fighters and several thousands of Shi'a combatants.

Along with its Lebanese, Iraqi and Afghan allies, Iran has contested a race in east of Syrian territory with United States-supported Kurdish-Arab forces in order to link a land corridor from Tehran to Beirut to Iraqi border. The Islamic Republic aspires to count, like Russia, with its own air and naval bases in Syria and to be able to exploit its uranium mines. It hopes, in short, to take economic advantage of reconstruction of country after nearly seven years of civil war in which its contribution to foreseeable triumph of regime has been decisive.

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