Four Syrian Armed Forces (SAF) soldiers were killed and three others wounded early this morning in an Israeli missile attack on targets near Damascus, according to a statement from the Syrian Defense Ministry.
By Erin Viner
In a message posted on Facebook, the ministry said the attack also caused material damage.
Cited unnamed “military sources,” the regime-run SANA news agency reported that the four soldiers were “martyred” in the “Israeli aerial act of aggression” around 12:41 AM when the “Israeli enemy” fired “bursts of missiles from the direction of northern Israeli city of Tiberias.
The Syrian state news agency claimed that the majority of the Israeli missiles were shot down by Syrian air defenses.
The target of the attack was a weapons shipment en route to the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group, according to reports broadcast on Saudi Arabia’s Al Hadath television news, while the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that several missiles hit positions near the Damascus International Airport and several outlaying suburbs where the Syrian military and Iran-backed militias are located.
The strikes were launched just hours after an IDF announcement that an Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV, drone) was downed in Syria.
The last alleged Israeli airstrike on the neighboring Arab Republic was on 14 April when several missiles targeted SAF bases near the Syrian capital.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit declined to either confirm or deny involvement in this morning’s reported strike.
For the past several years, Israel has allegedly mounted hundreds of attacks on Iranian-linked targets in Syria where the Islamic Republic’s forces and proxy terror groups including Lebanon’s Hezbollah have become entrenched in deployments aimed at attacking Israel in addition to assisting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war that erupted in 2011.
While the Jewish State rarely confirms such missions, the country’s political and defense leaders have repeatedly stated that Iran’s presence just over the northern frontier will not be tolerated.