More Israeli strikes in Syria as UN warns of disastrous Rafah offensive

All the latest developments on the Israel-Hamas war and the conflict in the Middle East.

Israeli jets target Syria

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Israeli airstrikes hit several sites on the outskirts of Syria’s capital, Damascus, the Syrian military said Saturday.

The strikes came from the direction of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Syrian state news agency SANA reported, citing an unnamed military official. 

It added that air defences shot down some and those that landed resulted in “material losses.” 

It was not immediately clear if there were casualties. 

There was no immediate comment from Israel.

The strikes come as tensions across the Middle East grow amid the Israel Hamas war. 

A drone attack last month killed three US troops in northeastern Jordan near the Syrian border.

UN ‘extremely worried’ about Rafah offensive

The United Nations says it is “extremely worried” about the fate of civilians in Rafah in the wake of Israel’s announcement that it will evacuate the area ahead of an expected ground invasion.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has ordered the military to prepare a plan for the evacuation of much of the population of the southern Gaza city.

Netanyahu made the announcement on Friday, sparking international criticism of Israel’s plan to invade the crowded city on Egypt’s border.

Israel says Rafah is the last remaining Hamas stronghold and that it needs to send in troops to complete its war plan against the Islamic militant group.

The UN estimates 1.4 million Palestinians have crammed into Rafah after fleeing fighting elsewhere in Gaza.

In December, the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) accused Israel of preparing to mass expel Gazans into Egyptian – something Israel denies.