Israel targets air defense system in Syria

AP , Friday 19 Apr 2024

Israel carried out a missile strike targeting an air defense unit in its south and causing material damage, Syria’s state-run SANA news agency quoted a military statement as saying Friday.

Israeli Missiles
Israeli forces fire rockets from their Iron Dome defense system near the southern city of Sderot to intercept rockets launched from the Gaza Strip. AFP


The warplanes were seen around the time loud noises and drones were reported near a major Iranian air base and nuclear site early Friday.

That area of Syria is directly west of Isfahan, some 1,500 kilometres (930 miles) away, and east of Israel. Iran fired air defence batteries early Friday and some flights were diverted or grounded after reports of explosions near a major airbase and nuclear site where drones were spotted.

Speaking during a press conference following a Group of Seven foreign ministers’ meeting in Capri, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken avoided answering questions about the strikes on Iran

However, he repeated that the US was "not involved" in any offensive military operations and is continuing to work for de-escalation.

"All I can say is that for our part and for the entire G7, our focus has been on de-escalation and on avoiding a larger conflict. Actually that's been true since day one and the horrific events of October 7. A big part of our approach has been to prevent the conflict from spreading to avoid escalation everywhere."

"Those efforts will continue," Blinken added.

Italy's Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said the US government was informed at the "very last minute" by Israel about the attack and said "there was no involvement" from Washington.

Israel has vowed to respond to Iran’s unprecedented retaliatory attack, leaving the region bracing for further escalation after months of fighting in Gaza. Allies have urged Israel to hold back on any response that could spiral.

The United States and Britain announced Thursday that they were imposing a new round of sanctions on Iran. The moves came as European Union leaders meeting in Brussels vowed to ramp up sanctions on Iran to target its drone and missile deliveries to proxies in Gaza, Yemen and Lebanon.

Regional tensions have increased since the start of the Israeli war on Gaza.

Israel launched an brutal attack on Gaza that has caused widespread devastation and killed more than 33,900 Palestinians, most of them women and children.

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