Four Militia Members, Three Syrians Killed in Israeli Strike, Monitor Says

‘Hostile targets’ coming from Lebanese airspace were earlier reported as shot down ■ Four others were injured, Syrian news agency reports, including a child

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Airstrike in Syria, 2019 (illustration).
Airstrike in Syria, 2019 (illustration). Credit: SANA / AP

Four members of a pro-Iran militia and three civilians were killed in an Israeli air strike on a Damascus suburb in the early hours of Monday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Syria's official news agency SANA earlier reported three civilians had been killed and four injured, including a child.

According to the Syrian military, Israeli warplanes flying over Lebanon fired missiles toward areas near Damascus before dawn on Monday.

The military said in a statement, which was carried by state media, that some of the missiles that made it to the target near the Syrian capital caused material damage but did not inflict any casualties.

According to the statement, the attack took place around dawn. The Syrian military gave no further details about the attack or what it targeted specifically.

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Israel rarely confirms attacks and it did not comment on the latest missiles strike. Israel has said, however, that it has been behind a series of airstrikes mainly targeting Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces in Syria that are alongside Syrian government forces.
Israel has also in the past used Lebanon’s airspace to launch attacks on Syria.

Last week, an opposition war monitor said that an alleged Israeli airstrike in central Syria killed nine fighters, including six who were not Syrians and some who were loyal to the militant Hezbollah group.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights gave no nationalities for the foreigners who were killed on a military post in the desert near the historic central town of Palmyra. It said the dead included some fighters loyal to Hezbollah.

Israel says it has been behind a series of airstrikes mainly targeting Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Syria that have joined the country’s war fighting alongside the government. It rarely confirms the attacks and did not comment on Monday's airstrike.

A day earlier, Syrian state TV reported the country’s air defenses shot down several missiles launched by Israeli warplanes.

The station gave no further details about the attack, the latest of several to hit central Syria in the past month.

The Observatory said later said the Israeli strikes targeted Iranian and Iran-backed fighters in the desert near Palmyra. It added that Israeli warplanes were also flying over neighboring Lebanon.

The strikes came hours after Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif was in the Syrian capital Damascus, where he met with President Bashar Assad and his Syrian counterpart.

Two weeks ago, an Israeli drone fired two missiles at and near an SUV carrying members of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group in Syria close to the border with Lebanon.

Israel accused Hezbollah of “provocative” activity along the Lebanese-Israeli frontier and said it would complain to the UN Security Council.

In recent years, Israel has repeatedly carried out airstrikes in Syria against targets belonging to Iran and its regional proxies.

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