| 8 December 2023, Friday |

Four Syrian soldiers killed in Israeli attack on Damascus, according to state media

Four Syrian soldiers were killed and another four wounded in an Israeli missile attack near the Syrian capital Damascus early on Monday, Syrian state media reported, citing a military source.

State news agency SANA said the attack caused “some material damage” and that the missiles had targeted “some points in the vicinity of the city of Damascus,” but gave no specific details.

Syrian air defenses intercepted the Israeli missiles and shot down some of them, the military source told SANA.

The Israeli military declined to comment.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, said it had documented two additional fighters killed in the strikes that were members of non-Syrian militias aligned with Damascus.

Observatory head Rami Abdulrahman could not immediately confirm the nationalities of the two additional fatalities. He said the sites targeted included warehouses near the Damascus airport.

Since Syria’s conflict broke out in 2011, its armed forces have been bolstered by military support from Iran and Russia, as well as allied fighters from Lebanon, Iraq and even Afghanistan.

Iran’s proxy militias, led by Lebanese armed faction Hezbollah, now hold sway in large areas of eastern, southern and northern Syria and in several suburbs around the capital.

Israel has for years been carrying out attacks against what it has described as Iran-linked targets in Syria, but has more recently stepped up its air raids on Syrian airports to disrupt Iran’s increasing use of aerial supply lines to transport arms.

A strike on Damascus in February hit an installation where Iranian officials were meeting to advance programmes to develop drone or missile capabilities of Tehran’s allies in Syria, sources told Reuters.

  • Reuters