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JERUSALEM: Israel launched strikes against targets in Syria early Wednesday, hitting anti-aircraft batteries in response to a missile fired from Syria, the military said.

Sirens were sounded in the northern Israeli Arab city of Umm Al-Fahm after the Syrian missile launch but it exploded in mid-air, the Israel Defence Forces tweeted.

"In response to the anti-aircraft missile launched from Syria earlier tonight, we just struck surface-to-air missile targets in Syria, including radar & anti-aircraft batteries," the IDF said.

Syrian state media said the country's air defences had been activated against Israeli fire "in the vicinity of Damascus".

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Citing a military source, it said Israeli aerial attacks began shortly before 1:00 am and were accompanied at 1:10 am by surface-to-surface missile strikes "from the direction of the occupied Golan".

"Our aerial defences confronted the enemy's missiles and shot some of them down," the Syrian news agency SANA said.

SANA said one soldier was killed and five others wounded, "along with material damage".

Israel rarely comments on the air strikes it carries out in Syria but has said repeatedly it will not allow its archfoe Iran to extend its footprint in the country.

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Since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes on Syrian territory, targeting government positions as well as allied Iran-backed forces and Hezbollah fighters.

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