Syria reported suspected Israeli air raids on Iranian military assets in the nation’s capital.
By Associated Press
The Syrian military said the country’s air defenses responded on Monday to Israeli air raids in south Damascus that caused material damage, and residents said loud explosions rocked the capital.
It was not clear what the targets were. The air raids, which came just before 10:00 p.m., continued for more than 15 minutes. Residents reported hearing at least four explosions in the capital.
A military official quoted in Syrian state media said the attack was carried out by Israeli jets that took off from the Golan Heights in northern Israel. The unnamed official said air defenses responded and downed most of the missiles.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the country’s civil war, said the suspected Israeli strikes targeted government and Iranian militia posts.
Israel rarely comments on such reports, but is believed to have carried out hundreds of raids targeting Iran’s military presence in Syria since 2017. In the past two months alone, Syria has accused Israel of carrying out at least eight airstrikes. The last reported strikes came in late June.
Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorist and remains a key ally of the brutal Syrian government in the nearly decade-long civil war.
Iran has established itself as a regional menace and Israel has vowed to prevent any permanent Iranian military entrenchment in Syria, particularly near the border.
In recent months, Israeli officials have also rung the alarm over the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah’s attempts to establish facilities to produce precision-guided missiles. Tensions have also risen along the Israel-Lebanon border.
The strikes Monday came a day after Syrians voted in government-held areas to elect a new parliament. The vote is the third to take place in Syria since the civil war began in March 2011. It has killed more than 400,000, displaced half the country’s population and caused more than five million to become refugees, mostly in neighboring countries.