Israeli strikes in northern Syria have killed five pro-Iran fighters allied to the Damascus regime, a Britain-based war monitor said Tuesday.
Syrian state media earlier said its air defenses had shot down an Israeli missile over the northern province of Aleppo late on Monday.
Syrian state news agency SANA had cited a military source as saying: “At around 23:37 on Monday… the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial attack towards southeast Aleppo, targeting positions in the Al-Safira area.”
“Our air defenses intercepted the missiles… shooting down most of them,” it added, saying the extent of damage was still being assessed.
The Observatory said the missiles landed near the Scientific Studies Research Centre in Al-Safira, killing two Syrian fighters and three other non-Syrians, as well as destroying a base used by pro-Iran groups and a nearby weapons depot.
Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Israel has routinely carried out raids in Syria, mostly targeting Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces as well as Syrian government troops.
Israel rarely confirms strikes in Syria, but the Jewish state’s army has said it hit about 50 targets in the war-torn country last year, without providing details.
The Jewish state says it is trying to prevent Iran, which has been one of the Syrian government’s key allies in the decade-old civil war, from gaining a permanent military foothold on its doorstep.
Last month, Israeli air strikes in central Syria killed at least 11 government troops and militiamen.