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DAMASCUS: Israel carried out air strikes on government-held positions in Syria on Saturday, the state news agency SANA said, without reporting any casualties.

“The Israeli enemy launched an aerial assault from the direction of northern Lebanon targeting a number of positions in the central region,” SANA reported, citing a military source.

The news agency said air defences were activated and intercepted a number of missiles over Hama province.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that explosions were heard in the town of Masyaf and nearby areas in the west of government-controlled Hama province.

The Britain-based war monitor said that both Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement had a presence in the area.

It said the strikes were the eighth by Israel in Syria this year and targeted weapons depots and research centres for the development of missiles and drones.

In early March, Israeli strikes near Damascus killed two officers from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the Islamic republic’s ideological army.

Israel fires missiles on border positions inside Syria

The Guards vowed to avenge the killings and subsequently launched strikes on what they described as an Israeli “strategic centre” in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region.

Since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes inside the country, targeting government positions as well as allied Iran-backed forces and fighters of Lebanon’s Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

While Israel rarely comments on individual strikes, it has acknowledged mounting hundreds since 2011.

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