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  • A Syrian army military tank is seen in the town of Morek, Hama district, Syria August 24, 2019.

    A Syrian army military tank is seen in the town of Morek, Hama district, Syria August 24, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 25 August 2019

Iran rejected Israeli claims of destroying its base in Syria. Iran said the country has no forces operating in Syria. 

Mohsen Rezaei, the secretary of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council said Sunday that Israeli military’s statement about hitting Iranian sites on Syria are lies. 

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“This is a lie and is not true,” Rezaei, a former chief commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), told local media adding, “America [U.S.] and Israel do not have the power to attack Iran’s centers and positions and the Zionist regime’s claims about targeting Iranian positions are lies.”

An Israeli military spokesperson claimed that an Israeli aircraft Saturday struck Iranian forces near Damascus that had been allegedly planning to launch “killer drones” at targets in Israel.

“The strike targeted Iranian Quds Force operatives and Shiite militias which were preparing to advance attack plans targeting sites in Israel from within Syria over the last number of days,” the military said in a statement in a rare acknowledgment. 

The elite Quds Force is the overseas arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus told reporters the forces Thursday had been preparing to launch “killer drones” armed with explosives at northern Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the military had thwarted the planned Iranian attack. “Iran has no immunity anywhere. Our forces operate in every sector against the Iranian aggression,” he said on Twitter.

Syrian state media said Syrian air defenses intercepted “hostile targets” over Damascus, the capital, Saturday night.

“The aggression is ongoing and air defenses are confronting hostile targets and are downing most of them in the southern region,” state media outlet SANA said, indicating areas south of Damascus.

The Syrian army said in a statement that “the majority of the Israeli missiles were destroyed before reaching their targets.” 

“Measures taken jointly by Israel and America in Syria and Iraq are against international regulations and defense forces of Syria and Iraq will soon respond to them,” Rezaei said. 

Iran has said in the past also that it has no forces operating from Syria and only gave military advise to the country. Syria also rejected claims of the Iranian army in the country. 

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