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Israel hits 'dozens of Iranian and Syrian targets' Israel hits 'dozens of Iranian and Syrian targets'
(30 minutes later)
Israel says it has hit dozens of targets in Syria belonging to the Syrian government and Iranian forces.Israel says it has hit dozens of targets in Syria belonging to the Syrian government and Iranian forces.
The Israeli military says the "wide-scale strikes" responded to rockets fired by an Iranian unit into Israel.The Israeli military says the "wide-scale strikes" responded to rockets fired by an Iranian unit into Israel.
Syria says two civilians were killed but Syrian air defences shot down most of the missiles over the capital Damascus. Syria says two civilians died and that Syrian air defences shot down most of the missiles over Damascus. Other reports say the death toll was higher.
Local reports said loud explosions were heard in the city. Pictures on social media also showed a number of fires. Local reports said loud explosions were heard in the capital. Pictures on social media showed a number of fires.
On Tuesday morning, the Israeli military said it had intercepted four rockets fired from Syria towards northern Israel. It said the rockets did not hit the ground.On Tuesday morning, the Israeli military said it had intercepted four rockets fired from Syria towards northern Israel. It said the rockets did not hit the ground.
Israel is believed to have carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria since civil war broke out there in 2011, to try to prevent Iran gaining a foothold.Israel is believed to have carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria since civil war broke out there in 2011, to try to prevent Iran gaining a foothold.
What did Israel say?What did Israel say?
Early on Wednesday, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted that the strikes targeted positions of Iran's Quds Force and Syria's armed forces.Early on Wednesday, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted that the strikes targeted positions of Iran's Quds Force and Syria's armed forces.
"During our strike of Iranian & Syrian terror targets, a Syrian air defence missile was fired despite clear warnings to refrain from such fire. As a result, a number of Syrian aerial defence batteries were destroyed," the IDF said."During our strike of Iranian & Syrian terror targets, a Syrian air defence missile was fired despite clear warnings to refrain from such fire. As a result, a number of Syrian aerial defence batteries were destroyed," the IDF said.
The Israeli military also said it held "the Syrian regime responsible for the actions that take place in Syrian territory and warn them against allowing further attacks against Israel".The Israeli military also said it held "the Syrian regime responsible for the actions that take place in Syrian territory and warn them against allowing further attacks against Israel".
Iran's Quds Force is the external operations wing of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC).Iran's Quds Force is the external operations wing of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC).
Both the Quds Force and its leader, Maj Gen Qasem Soleimani, answer directly to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, bypassing Iran's conventional military structures to become effectively an independent entity.Both the Quds Force and its leader, Maj Gen Qasem Soleimani, answer directly to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, bypassing Iran's conventional military structures to become effectively an independent entity.
What did Syria say?What did Syria say?
Syria's state news agency Sana said that the country's "air defence confronted the heavy attack and intercepted the hostile missiles".Syria's state news agency Sana said that the country's "air defence confronted the heavy attack and intercepted the hostile missiles".
It said that Syria destroyed "most" of the Israeli missiles.It said that Syria destroyed "most" of the Israeli missiles.
The news agency added that the strikes on Syrian territory were carried out from "Lebanese and Palestinian territories".The news agency added that the strikes on Syrian territory were carried out from "Lebanese and Palestinian territories".
Israel has a number of times hit targets inside Syria from war planes in Lebanese airspace.Israel has a number of times hit targets inside Syria from war planes in Lebanese airspace.
Syria said two civilians were killed in the Israeli strikes.
Meanwhile, the UK-based Syrian Observatory said that 11 fighters, including seven foreigners, died.
And what about Iran?
The Iranian authorities have so far made no public comment.