Nine Reported Killed in Israeli Strike Near Damascus

According to Syrian state media, Israel launched the missiles from just outside the Golan Heights. 'Four Syrian soldiers and five foreign soldiers were killed'

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Assault attributed to Israel in the Damascus area, in 2019.
Assault attributed to Israel in the Damascus area, in 2019.Credit: SANA / AP

Four Syrian soldiers were killed on Wednesday in an Israeli missile attack on positions near Damascus, Syria's defense ministry said, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported a higher death toll of five Syrian troops and four soldiers of other nationalities.

The war monitor said Israel struck an arms depot and four other positions outside Damascus.

The monitor did not provide more details and Reuters could not immediately confirm its report. An Israeli military spokesperson declined to comment.

The Syrian ministry, in a posting on Facebook, said the strike caused material damage.

Syria's state news agency said the missiles were launched from the town of Tiberias in northeastern Israel, and most were shot down by Syrian air defenses.

Syria's military has relied on support from allied fighters from Iran and Russia as well as paramilitaries from Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan to take back territory lost since the start of its civil war in 2011.

Israel has regularly targeted what it described as Iranian-linked targets in Syria, seeing them as expansions of Tehran's influence.

Its most recent strikes on April 14 hit areas outside Damascus, but did not cause casualties, according to state media.

A pro-government commander did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the Israeli strikes early Wednesday had targeted his positions or killed any of his fighters.

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