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Missiles strike in Damascus after monthlong pause

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Syrian state television on Tuesday said it had opened fire on “enemy targets” and intercepted missiles targeting Damascus, the first such strike to target the Syrian capital since Nov. 29.
 
Israel has frequently carried out such strikes in Syrian territory, and is believed to be behind the operation. Though Syrian state television did not explicitly say Israel was to blame, it noted that the strike was carried out from Lebanon, where Israeli aircraft sometimes operate. 
 
{mosads}At the same time, Israel said it deployed its air defenses against a Syrian antiaircraft missile.
 
“An IDF aerial defense system activated in response to an anti-aircraft missile launched from Syria,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.
 
It did not elaborate on whether the aerial defense system was successful.
 
The attack comes as President Trump prepares to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, a decision that prompted Defense Secretary James Mattis to resign. Many in the security establishment have raised concern that the withdrawal would cede ground to Iran, Russia and Turkey, which are also operating in Syria. 
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the move.
 
The decision was seen as a blow to Israel. 
 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close Trump ally, said that the decision would not prevent Israel from operating.
 
“The decision to withdraw 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria will not change our consistent policy,” he said at his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday. 
 
“We will continue to act against Iran’s attempts to entrench itself militarily in Syria, and to the extent necessary, we will even expand our actions there,” he added.
Tags Donald Trump Israel James Mattis Syriam
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