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Israel attacks Damascus research centre: Syrian media

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Israel carried out a rocket attack on the Jamraya scientific research centre in Damascus overnight, the official Syrian news agency SANA reported Sunday.

The agency did not say whether there were any wounded or dead.

Syrian television said "the Israeli attack aims at loosening the noose around the terrorists in the eastern Ghouta" region, near Damascus.

If confirmed, the attack would be Israel's second this week against Syria. US media reports say Israel targeted a weapons shipment to the militant group Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon overnight Thursday to Friday, but the Jewish state has refused to confirm or deny the bombing.

A diplomatic source in Lebanon told AFP the operation destroyed surface-to-air missiles recently delivered by Russia that were being stored at Damascus airport.

Israel implicitly confirmed it staged an air strike on Syria in late January as President Bashar al-Assad accused the Jewish state of trying to further destabilise his war-torn country.

That air strike targeted surface-to-air missiles and an adjacent military complex believed to house chemical agents, a US official said at the time.

Damascus threatened to retaliate, further fuelling fears of a regional spillover of a civil war the UN says has left at least 70,000 people dead since March 2011.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130504/israel-attacks-damascus-research-centre-syrian-media