| 5 March 2024, Tuesday |

Syria says four soldiers killed in Israeli missile attack

Four Syrian soldiers have been killed and three wounded after an Israeli missile attack on positions near Damascus, Syria’s defence ministry has said.

The attack on Wednesday also caused material damage, it added, in a statement posted on Facebook.

Earlier, the Syrian state news agency said that the missiles had been launched from Tiberias, in northeast Israel, and claimed that most of them had been shot down by Syrian air defences. Neither of those claims could be independently verified.

An Israeli military spokesperson declined to comment on the reported strike.

The attacks came after the Israeli military said an Israeli drone had crashed on the Syrian side of the border on Tuesday, adding that an investigation had been opened into the case.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said that the Israeli missile attacks hit arms depots used by Iran-backed groups in several suburbs of Damascus.

The last alleged Israeli attack on Syria was on April 14, when several missiles hit Syrian army positions near Damascus.

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 regime 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.

  • Aljazeera