Israeli Strikes on Syria Killed 113 Iranian Soldiers Over Past Month, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Reports

140 Iranian fighters died in Israeli attacks on Syria over the past five months, newly released report claims

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Alleged Israeli strike on Syria on September 15, 2018.
Alleged Israeli strike on Syria on September 15, 2018.
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Israeli strikes on Syria over the past month have led to the deaths of 113 Iranian soldiers, officers and Tehran-backing militias, a report released Monday by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Monday claimed.

According to the report, 140 Iranian militants were killed over the past five months.

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The report, which did not cite specific sources for the data it provided, also did an overview dozens of targets Israel hit across Syria, including in the Golan Heights and southern Syria.

32,000 armed people who are foreign nationals are fighting in Syria alongside troops of the Syrian military, the report added.

Some of the fighters are Lebanese people who are affiliated with Hezbollah, while others are Iranians who are part of the Revolutionary Guards. Other fighters come from Iraq, Afghanistan and Asaian countries.

The report stresses that since the Syrian Civil War broke out, some 8,000 non-Syrian fighters who support Bashar Assad's regime have been killed. 1,665 Hezbollah fighters have died in the fighting as well, the report added.

The observatory's report comes two days after Syrian media claimed that Israel struck a weapons depot near the Damascus International Airport on Saturday night. 

According to Syrian media reports, several Israeli missiles were intercepted by Syrian air defenses.''Our air defense systems thwarted an Israeli missile aggression," state news agency SANA cited a military source as saying.

>> Israeli Satellite Images Reveal Damage at Site of Airstrike on 'Iranian Targets' in Syria

Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the missile attack targeted an arms depot near the airport where new weapons recently arrived for the Iranians or Lebanon's Hezollah group.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said Israel does not comment on foreign reports. 

“Israel is constantly working to prevent our enemies from arming themselves with advanced weaponry,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday amid reports of the strike.

“Our red lines are as sharp as ever and our determination to enforce them is stronger than ever,” Netanyahu added. 

Earlier this month, Syrian state media reported that Israeli jets attacked military targets in the northwestern Syrian city of Hama, targeting Iranian positions.

In August, a senior Syrian chemical weapons development scientist was killed when his car exploded in the nearby city of Masyaf in northwestern Syria in an attack that Syrian media attributed to Israel's Mossad espionage agency. According to reports, Dr. Aziz Asber ran a scientific development center in the city, which was attacked several times before. The blast also killed his personal driver.

Several strikes near Masyaf have been attributed to Israel in recent years, including one on July 22.

In May, Israel said it attacked nearly all of Iran's military infrastructure in Syria after Iranian forces fired rockets at Israeli-held territory for the first time in the most extensive military exchange ever between the two adversaries. 

Israel has previously acknowledged having carried out air strikes in Syria aimed at degrading the capacity of Iran and its allies, including Lebanon's Shi'ite Hezbollah group, which are backing Assad in the country's seven-year civil war.

The Israeli military struck more than 200 targets and fired 800 missiles and mortar shells over the past year-and-a-half, a senior IDF official said earlier in September.

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