Lebanese Hezbollah has said one of the group’s fighters was killed in an Israeli strike which struck near Damascus airport, south of the city, on Monday night.
Ali Kamel Mohsen, a Hezbollah fighter originally from southern Lebanon, was declared a martyr in a death notice which was later confirmed by the group.
According to a report by Reuters, Mohsen is believed to have died during Israeli strikes on Monday, which targeted, and hit, an Iranian-backed ammunition store based in the outskirts of the Syrian capital.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday five people had been killed in the strikes, but that their identities and nationalities were not immediately clear.
A further 11 people were injured during the strikes, among them four foreign fighters and seven Syrian members of an air-defence unit, the group said.
After Monday’s strikes, Syrian state media reported the military had thwarted several of the attacks using the country’s air defences and claimed Israel had carried out the assault from the occupied Golan Heights.
Meanwhile, pro-Hezbollah Lebanese news channel Al-Mayadeen reported Mohsen’s death saying Israel was fearful of a revenge attack from the Iranian-backed militia.
Several pro-Hezbollah social media accounts posted photos of a man, thought to be the deceased, standing in front of the Shrine of Sayyida Zainab in Damascus. While another tweeted a picture of a car driving towards the Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard, using popular symbolism implying the liberation of Jerusalem from Israel.
— Batoul Diab (@batoul_diab) July 21, 2020
Israel rarely comments on individual military strikes in Syria but has acknowledged conducting hundreds of raids inside the war-ravaged state since 2011. In the last two months, Israel is thought to have perpetrated at least eight air strikes inside Syrian borders, most recently in late June.
The so-called Jewish state has, however, admitted to targeting Iranian-backed positions in the country, purportedly to prevent the development of an Iranian military stronghold in the country. Iran has been a key ally of the Syrian government since the civil war began in 2011.
Earlier this month, Iran and Syria signed a new military cooperation deal intended to boost ties between the two allies. Under the deal, Iran is set to help strengthen Syrian air defence systems.
Note: Correction made at 14:30 on 22 July 2020 to saw the image of the deceased showed him standing in front of the Shrine of Sayyida Zainab and not the Dome of the Rock