Middle East

Israel Strikes on Syria Kill 11, One Civilian: New Toll

Iran-backed paramilitary fighters were among those killed in the attack.

Israeli strikes on Syria killed one civilian, three government troops, and seven allied foreign fighters, a war monitor said on Tuesday in a new toll.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which had previously put the toll from Monday’s strikes at five, said Iran-backed paramilitary fighters were among those killed in the attack.

The Britain-based monitor said the strikes hit Syrian army positions south of Damascus as well as positions belonging to Iran-backed paramilitaries, including fighters of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, in the southern province of Daraa.

The Observatory said it could not confirm if Hezbollah fighters were among those killed.

Late on Monday, the Syrian state news agency SANA reported that “the Zionist enemy carried out a strike… on some of our military positions south of Damascus and our air defenses confronted them.”

“The Israeli attack led to two martyrs being killed and seven soldiers being wounded,” the source said, adding the fire had come from the direction of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

It later said that one civillian was also killed in the attack.

Israel has carried out hundreds of raids in Syria since the civil war broke out in 2011, targeting Iranian and Hezbollah forces as well as government troops.

The Israeli army rarely acknowledges individual strikes but said that on August 3 it had used fighter jets, attack helicopters, and other warplanes to hit Syrian military targets in southern Syria.

Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday warned the group would kill an Israeli soldier for each of its fighters slain by the Jewish state, after one of its combatants was killed in an Israeli strike in Syria on July 20.

Lebanon's Shiite movement Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah
Lebanon’s Shiite movement Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah. Photo: AFP

Nasrallah on Sunday said a “decisive decision” had been taken but that Hezbollah was “not in a hurry.”

His statement came after a series of incidents on the Lebanese-Israeli frontier.

Israel said Wednesday it had launched airstrikes against Hezbollah observation posts in Lebanon after shots were fired from across the border.

Hezbollah also announced the previous weekend it had brought down an Israeli drone flying over the border.

Hezbollah has fought several wars against Israel, though a ceasefire has largely held since 2006 and a UN peacekeeping force patrols along the Lebanese-Israeli frontier.

Syria’s war has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced millions from their homes since it started with the repression of anti-government protests.

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