Syria says Israeli missiles target sites near Damascus

AMMAN (Reuters) -Syrian army air defences on Sunday confronted an Israeli missile strike on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus, and there were no casualties, state media said.

Citing a Syrian military source, state media said missile strikes coming from the direction of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights had targeted several sites it did not identify.

"Our air defences confronted the aggressors' missiles and downed some of them with only material losses," the Syrian military source said.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the report. The Israeli military declined comment.

Israel has for years carried out attacks on what it has described as Iran-linked targets in Syria, where Tehran's influence has grown since it began supporting President Bashar al-Assad in a civil war that started in 2011.

"There is a clear policy of preventing Iran from entrenching in Syria, from building an infrastructure that threatens Israel, a terrorist infrastructure that seeks to turn the quiet Golan Heights border into a war-fighting border," Israeli security cabinet minister Israel Katz told the country's Army Radio.

Fighters allied to Iran, including from Lebanon's Hezbollah, now hold sway in vast areas in eastern, southern, and northwestern Syria and in several suburbs around the capital.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Howard Goller and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)