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Israeli Strikes Injure 8 Syrian Soldiers: Ministry

Syria’s defense ministry on Friday said eight soldiers had been injured in Israeli air strikes near Damascus.

On Thursday night, “the Israeli enemy launched air strikes from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan, targeting a site near Damascus… injuring eight soldiers,” the ministry said in a statement.

Israel rarely comments on individual strikes but has repeatedly said it will not allow its arch-enemy Iran to expand its presence in Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said Israel had struck a government building in the Damascus countryside that has been used by Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group since 2014.

The Israeli military has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria since the outbreak of a civil war in its northern neighbor in 2011, mainly targeting army positions and Iran-backed fighters.

But the strikes increased after Israel’s war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip began on October 7, when the Iran-backed Palestinian militant group launched a deadly attack against Israel.

On April 19, Israeli strikes targeted a Syrian army position in the country’s south, Syria’s government and the Observatory said, as US media reported Israel had hit Iran.

Overnight on April 13, Iran launched hundreds of drones and missiles against Israel in an unprecedented attack that came in retaliation for a deadly strike — widely blamed on Israel — on Tehran’s consulate in Damascus.

Syria’s war has killed more than half a million people and displaced millions more since it erupted in March 2011 with the repression of anti-government protests.

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