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Syrian air defenses destroy target west of Damascus

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-08-03 09:21
A Syrian soldier jumps from a tank at his military post overlooking the Damascus-Aleppo highway in the central Syrian town of Rastan, Homs province, Syria, on July 17, 2018. [Photo/IC]

DAMASCUS - The Syrian air defenses destroyed an unidentified target west of the capital Damascus on Thursday night, according to the state TV.

The report said military air defenses confronted an "enemy target" and destroyed it west of Damascus, without specifying the exact target.

The TV aired a short footage showing the air defenses responding to the unidentified target.

The state media outlets stopped short of offering more details, but pro-government reports said the air defenses destroyed two Israeli drones over the town of Qatana in the western countryside of Damascus.

This comes as the Syrian army has captured the Quneitra province in southern Syria near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights after the rebels there accepted to evacuate to rebel-held areas in northern Syria under a Russian-backed deal.

Activists said the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on Thursday returned to its positions on the line of separation between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights after leaving it in 2014.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the UNDOF vehicles were spotted returning to the crossing between the Syrian southern province of Quneitra and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Thursday.

The UK-based watchdog group said Russian military police and the Syrian forces have been deployed in Quneitra and in the disengagement zone after the entire province of Quneitra returned under the government control.

The UNDOF halted its operations in southern Syria in 2014 after the ultra-radical groups abducted UN peacekeepers in that area.

The UNDOF forces were first deployed between Syria and the Golan Heights in 1974 to separate Syrian and Israeli forces after Israel occupied the Golan Heights during the 1967 war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently stressed the need to keep the Syrian and Israeli forces separated, referring specifically to the treaty of 1974, which officially ended the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and designated the lines of separation between Israel and Syria.


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