Israeli missiles strike near Damascus airport, Syrian state media claims

ScreenshotDamascus airport

ScreenshotDamascus airport

"This is once again an example of Russian Federation violating arrangements it has entered into with no regard for civilian lives".

There was no statement from rebel groups about the government advances.

State news agency SANA said the strike came shortly after midnight, a week into a Syrian government offensive against rebel-held territories in the southwestern region, which borders Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and Jordan.

Other pro-government media said the army intends to bring the entire province under its control and is likely to move on to western Daraa, where it conducted a series of airstrikes Monday.

Syrian and Iranian military facilities in the war-torn country have been hit several times since April.

The offensive has so far focused on Deraa, not rebel-held parts of neighbouring Quneitra province at the Golan frontier that are more sensitive to Israel.

Israel maintains a formal policy of non-intervention in the Syrian civil war but continuously asserts that it will not allow Iran to entrench itself in the country, where it has for years provided military backing to Syrian strongman President Bashar al-Assad alongside Russian Federation.

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But on Tuesday, state media said the army was launching an "operation" on the provincial capital itself, known widely as the cradle of Syria's seven-year uprising.

Tuesday's attack near the Damascus airport was the latest blamed on Israel.

SANA said the strike is part of Israel's support for the opposition fighters amid their "major losses" in the south and elsewhere in Syria.

The UN's World Food Programme has provided food to 30,000 people and plans to deliver more in the coming days over the border from Jordan, said spokeswoman Bettina Luescher.

Around 650,000 Syrian refugees are registered with the UNHCR in Jordan, but the government estimates twice that number are in the country and supporting the displaced population is challenging.

"The Jordanian contacts over southern Syria aim to stem bloodshed. and help the displaced inside Syria", Ayman Safadi said on Twitter.

Jordan said its borders will remain closed for any new refugees, calling on the provide security in southern Syria.

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