Israeli strike killed 9 Hezbollah members and foreign fighters, says Syrian war monitor

Israel neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for a Monday airstrike on a military post in the Syrian desert.

By Associated Press

An Israeli airstrike in central Syria killed nine fighters, including six who were not Syrians and some who were loyal to the Hezbollah terror group, an opposition war monitor said Tuesday.

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 central town of Palmyra. It said the dead included some fighters loyal to Lebanon’s Hezbollah group.

Iranian forces operate in Israel’s civil war-torn neighbor with virtual carte blanche from Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Both Israel and its terror proxy in Lebanon and Syria, Hezbollah, are sworn to Israel’s destruction.

Israel has routinely communicated that Iranian troops operating near its borders is a red line that it will not tolerate. To that end, Israel has launched a series of airstrikes mainly targeting Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Syria. It rarely confirms the attacks and did not comment on Monday’s airstrike.

Syrian state TV reported the country’s air defenses shot down several missiles launched by Israeli warplanes Monday night. The station gave no further details about the attack, the latest of several to hit central Syria in the past three weeks.

The Observatory said late Monday 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 Assad and his Syrian counterpart.