Syrian air defences intercept Israeli attack over Homs — state media

BEIRUT: Syria’s air defences intercepted an Israeli attack on the Al Qusair area in Homs early on Thursday, Syrian state media reported.

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A Syrian military source said in a statement there was some material damage from the strike and no casualties. The Israeli military said it had no comment.

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In a separate development, the Israeli military said that after a search near the Lebanese border, troops caught two “suspects” who crossed into Israel overnight. The military said the pair apparently had hoped to find work in Israel.

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On Monday, Syria said it had intercepted an attack on Aleppo.

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Homs province adjoins Lebanon, where the Iranian-backed Lebanese militant Hezbollah group holds sway along the rugged frontier.

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Western intelligence sources have said Israel’s stepped-up strikes on Syria since last year are part of a shadow war approved by the United States.

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The strikes are also part of an anti-Iran policy that in the past two years has undermined Iran’s extensive military power without starting a major increase in hostilities.

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