Middle EastWar

Israeli Strikes Kill Three Soldiers Near Damascus: Syria State Media

Three Syrian soldiers were killed on Thursday morning in an Israeli air strike near the capital Damascus, according to Syria’s state media.

It was the fourth reported time this month Israel has launched strikes inside Syria, keeping up a campaign against pro-Iranian forces supporting the Damascus government in the more than decade-old civil war.

“The Israeli enemy carried out an air assault with several missiles,” state media SANA reported, adding three soldiers were killed.

It said the Syrian air defense ministry intercepted most of the missiles in the attack, which occurred about 1:10 am (23:10 GMT).

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), which has an extensive network of sources across the country, reported that explosions were heard in Damascus and its suburbs “after the interception of Israeli missiles by the Syrian regime’s anti-aircraft defense.”

It follows strikes in recent days on a town near the Golan Heights, a Syrian military post on February 17, and an assault against anti-aircraft batteries at the start of the month.

Since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes on Syria’s territory, targeting government positions as well as allied Iran-backed forces and fighters of the Shiite militant movement Hezbollah.

Israel rarely comments on the air strikes it carries out in Syria. But it has said repeatedly it will not allow Iran to deepen its influence in Syria.

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