Syrian air defences intercept Israeli attack over Homs -state media

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BEIRUT (Reuters) -Syria's air defences intercepted an Israeli attack on the al Qusair area in Homs early on Thursday, Syrian state media reported.

A Syrian military source said in a statement there was some material damage from the strike and no casualties. The Israeli military said it had no comment.

In a separate development, the Israeli military said that after a search near the Lebanese border, troops caught two "suspects" who crossed into Israel overnight. The military said the pair apparently had hoped to find work in Israel.

On Monday, Syria said it had intercepted an attack on Aleppo.

Homs province adjoins Lebanon, where the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi'ite Hezbollah group holds sway along the rugged frontier.

Western intelligence sources have said Israel's stepped-up strikes on Syria since last year are part of a shadow war approved by the United States.

The strikes are also part of an anti-Iran policy that in the past two years has undermined Iran's extensive military power without starting a major increase in hostilities.

(Reporting by Maha El Dahan in Beirut and Jeffrey Heller in Jerusalem; Editing by Leslie Adler, Peter Cooney and Jane Wardell)

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