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Israel claims responsibility for drone strike in Syria

ISRAEL claimed responsibility for a drone attack today close to Syria’s border with Iraq, which killed at least 18 people.

The Israeli military said it was targeting Hezbollah fighters in Syria in the early hours of this morning, who it claimed were planning to launch rockets into Israel.

Both Lebanese and Iraqi forces were killed as the drone attacked in the Syrian city of Albu Kamal, east of Deir Ez-Zor province.

In a separate incident Hezbollah fighters said they had shot down an Israeli drone in Lebanon this morning as it crossed from the occupied Palestinian territories.

Israel moved quickly to downplay Hezbollah’s claims to have intercepted the drone. The Israel Defence Forces said the drone had crashed instead of being shot down and that it contained no sensitive information.

The incidents came as talks develop between Syrian and Iraqi officials, who are working to reopen a key border crossing linking Albu Kamal to al-Qa’im in Iraq.

On Sunday Iraq called for the return of Syria to the Arab League at the opening if its session in Cairo.

Syria was suspended in 2011 when the foreign-backed war against jihadist groups broke out.

But Damascus has since regained control of large swathes of the country that were taken over by Islamists.

Israel has increased regional aggression with a series of drone attacks launched against Lebanon, Iraq and Syria last month.

It also admitted to hundreds of missile attacks on Syria, claiming it is targeting Iranian-backed militias which it deems a threat to Israel.

Last week Ali al-Yasseri, the commander of the Iraqi resistance group Saraya al-Khorasani, claimed Israeli drones were being launched from US bases in Iraq.

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