World News

Syrian state media: projectiles fired from Israeli territory

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian air defenses targeted projectiles fired from the direction of Israel for the second night in a row, Syrian state media said on Saturday.

The projectiles came from “occupied territory” into the airspace in southern Syria, state news agency SANA said, referring to territory held by Israel.

Israel’s military declined to comment on the report.

Israel has been more open in recent months about targeting sites inside Syria that it says belong to Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah, both of which have forces aiding President Bashar al-Assad.

Residents said loud blasts echoed across Damascus late on Friday, as Syrian state media reported “enemy targets” coming from neighboring Israel.

Israel deems Iran its biggest enemy and the heavily armed Shi’ite Hezbollah movement as the main threat on its borders.

Israeli officials, alarmed by Tehran’s expanding clout next door, have acknowledged carrying out scores of strikes during the eight-year conflict in Syria. Iran and Hezbollah have played a key role in helping Assad’s army defeat rebels and militants.

Tensions between Tehran and its regional enemies rose this week after attacks on four oil tankers in the Gulf, sparking concerns about a potential conflict between Iran and the United States, Israel’s closest ally.

Reporting by Ellen Francis in Beirut, additional reporting by Hesham Hajali in Cairo and Kinda Makieh in Damascus; Editing by Peter Graff