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Syria Says Israeli Warplanes Strike Targets Near Damascus

Syrian state media say Israeli planes hit government-controlled zones in and around Damascus in what independent observers have said was an apparent effort to target Hezbollah arms shipments.

"The Israeli enemy committed aggression against Syria by targeting two safe areas in Damascus province, in all of Dimas and near the Damascus International Airport," state television said, adding that there were no casualties, according to Reuters.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the raids targeted a military zone in the town of Dimas, just a few miles from Lebanon. A storage facility at the Damascus airport was also hit.

Reuters says: "Residents in Damascus said they heard loud explosions and opposition activists posted photos online of jet streams in the evening sky and fiery explosions. Syria's army general command said on state television that there were "material losses in some facilities." It said the strike benefited al Qaeda.

NPR's Alison Meuse says Israel is reported to have carried out several such strikes over the course of Syria's four-year-old civil war.

Several of those strikes have "targeted sophisticated weapons systems, including Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles and Iranian-made missiles, believed to be destined for Israel's arch foe — the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group," according to The Associated Press.

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