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An Israeli strike on a Damascus area where Iran-backed groups operate caused casualties, Syria says

Associated Press

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — An Israeli airstrike on a Damascus suburb on Monday killed and wounded several people, the Syrian military said in a statement carried by state media. Opposition activists said the area hit was a stronghold of Iran-backed groups.

There was no immediate comment from Israel.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the strike hit a farm housing members of Lebanon’s Iran-backed militant Hezbollah group and other Iran-backed factions.

It said the strike killed seven people, including four Syrians, one of whom was the bodyguard of a member of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard. It did not give the nationalities of the others.

The strike comes amid rising tension in the Middle East with the ongoing Israeli-Hamas war in Gaza and a drone attack on Sunday that killed three U.S. troops and injured dozens more in northeastern Jordan, near the Syrian border.

Days earlier, an Israeli strike on Damascus destroyed a building used by the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, killing at least five Iranians.

The Syrian military said in its statement that Israeli missiles were fired from the direction of Syria’s Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, hitting “some points south of Damascus.” The statement added that “the aggression left several civilians martyrs and wounded.”

Earlier in the day, the pro-government Dama Post said the strike hit the area of Sayida Zeinab without providing further details.

Earlier, an official with one of the Iranian-backed groups, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss military activities, said two Syrian citizens were killed in Monday’s strike on Aqraba on the edge of Sayida Zeinab.

No Hezbollah members or Iranian advisers were hurt, the official said.

None of the reports could not be independently confirmed.

Last month, a presumed Israeli airstrike on Sayida Zeinab killed Iranian Gen. Seyed Razi Mousavi, a longtime adviser of the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in Syria. Israel has also targeted Palestinian and Lebanese operatives in Syria over the past years.

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of war-torn Syria in recent years.

Israel rarely acknowledges its actions in Syria, but it has said that it targets bases of Iran-allied militant groups, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

Earlier in January, a strike said to be carried out by Israel killed top Hamas commander Saleh Arouri in Beirut.


Mroue reported from Beirut.

Article Topic Follows: AP National News

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