Syrian army breaks siege of base near Damascus

The province bordering Turkey is home to an estimated two million Syrians including tens of thousands of people who had fled fighting elsewhere in the region

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The agency said the Syrian army had hit an Israeli plane as they rebuffed the attack, but added missiles had caused damage. The Syrian army said that it succeeded in bringing one of the rockets down but missed the other three, which caused material damage, Reuters reported.

The army said the Syrian air defence confronted the attacks on military outposts in the area of Qutayfeh in the Damascus countryside.

The latest strikes come as the government steps up its offensive against the country's last rebel-held areas.

Some residents blame the Islamic State group for such attacks, although the group has no open presence in the province. There is a US-Russian agreement arranged by President Vladimir Putin that Hezbollah and Iranian backed forces will not approach within 25 miles of the Israeli-Syrian front line in the Golan.

An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to respond to the Syrian statement.

For its part, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported citing some sources in the Syrian opposition that the target was a weapons depot.

Idlib was lost to insurgents when the provincial capital fell in 2015.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the blast struck the headquarters of a minor rebel faction.

Israel's Security Cabinet held a long meeting Sunday on the situation on the Lebanese and Syrian borders.

Syrian government forces and their allies have been on the offensive since late October in Hama and Idlib provinces, capturing almost 100 villages from insurgent groups, including the al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee.

Less than one day after the IAF reportedly targeted one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's military bases, the Syrian government sent an official letter to the UN Security Council regarding the matter.

The defense ministry said that seven of the drones were shot down while the other six crashed or landed outside the base.

After the collapse of the Islamic State group in both Syria and Iraq late a year ago, President Bashar al-Assad's regime is bent on restoring its grip over the country.

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