Syrian Soldier Killed by Israeli Strike in South, Reports State Media

Air defenses downed most of the missiles, but the attack caused some material damage, says Syria

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A strike near the Damascus airport, 2019.
A strike near the Damascus airport, 2019.Credit: SANA / AP

Syria’s military said Israeli rockets hit army posts in the country’s south early Thursday, killing one soldier and causing material damage.

State media quoted an unidentified military official as saying that rockets fired from the Golan Heights activated Syrian air defenses and that most of the incoming missiles were intercepted.

But one Syrian soldier was killed and there was damage to the area, the official added, without specifying where the missiles hit in southern Syria.

Israel has staged hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled Syria in recent years but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations.

Israel has acknowledged, however, that it targets the bases of Iran-allied militias, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah group that has fighters deployed in Syria. It says it attacks arms shipments believed to be bound for the militias.

Hezbollah is fighting on the side of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces in the country's decade-old civil war.

Israel says the Iranian presence on its northern frontier is a red line, justifying its strikes on facilities and weapons inside Syria.

Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that a rare Israeli airstrike deep into Syrian territory in June was targeting chemical weapons, citing Western intelligence officials briefed on the matter.

According to current and former intelligence and security officials, the strike was a bid to halt what Israel believes was an attempt by Syria to relaunch its chemical weapons program that it had surrendered eight years earlier, the report said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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