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Syria accuses Israel of carrying out strike, 2nd in a week

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DAMASCUS (AP) — Syria accused Israel Thursday of carrying out an airstrike in a central province, the second time in as many days, saying the aerial attack caused material damage.

An unidentified Syrian military official quoted by the state news agency said air defenses shot down most of the missiles in the attack that occurred early Thursday on targets it did not name in the Quseir region of the Homs countryside.

There was no immediate comment from Israel on the Syrian reports.

Israel has launched hundreds of strikes against Iran-linked military targets in war-ravaged Syria over the years but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations. Late Monday, Syria reported an Israeli airstrike southeast of the northern Aleppo province, but did not mention details of the target or damage.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor that has activists on the ground in Syria, said Monday’s strikes targeted weapons depots that belong to Iranian-backed militiamen operating in Aleppo’s Safira region.

It also confirmed Thursday’s strikes, saying they destroyed ammunitions and weapons depots belonging to the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group in the western Homs countryside.

The Iran-backed group has been operating in Syria for years, helping President Bashar Assad’s government reclaim control over most of the country after a devastating civil war.

Separately, the Israeli military said it apprehended two people seen crossing from south Lebanon into Israeli territory.

In a statement, it said the suspects were apprehended after an extensive search of the border area. Following initial questioning at the scene, the two appear to be job seekers, it added.

Associated Press writer Laurie Kellman contributed from Jerusalem

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