Israeli air raids in Syria kills nine combatants

Israel justifies its attacks on facilities and weapons in Syria, saying the Iranian presence near its northern frontier is a red line [File: Omar Sanadiki/Reuters]

Israeli air raids near Syria’s capital, Damascus, have killed nine combatants, among them five Syrian soldiers, in the deadliest such raid since the start of 2022, a war monitor said.

According to Aljazeera, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an ammunition depot and several positions linked to Iran’s military presence in Syria were among the targets on Wednesday.

Government media in Syria confirmed four of the nine reported casualties in the air raids. There was no comment from Israel.

Israel is believed to have staged hundreds of attacks on targets in Syria over the years, but it has rarely acknowledged or discussed such operations.

It has said, however, that it targets the bases of Iran-allied militias, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, which has fighters in Syria backing the government of President Bashar al-Assad. It says it attacks arms shipments believed to be bound for the militias.

Israel also argues that any Iranian presence near its northern frontier is a red line.

“The Israeli enemy carried out an air assault at dawn … targeting several positions around Damascus,” a military source was quoted as saying by the state news agency SANA.

“The investigation indicated that four soldiers were killed, three others injured and material damage noted.”

The latest strike follows another near Damascus on April 14, without casualties, according to SANA.

The UK-based Observatory, which relies on a vast network of sources in every region of Syria, said eight people were also wounded in the attack.

Aside from the five Syrian soldiers, the other four killed were members of an Iran-backed militia, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said, adding he could not verify their nationalities.

He said at least five separate sites were targeted in the latest Israeli hits.


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