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Israeli missiles kill Syrian soldier and wound five others

December 30, 2020 at 3:56 pm

Syrian air defences respond to Israeli missiles targeting south of the capital Damascus, on 20 July 2020. [STR/AFP via Getty Images]

A Syrian soldier was killed and five others were wounded today in Israeli missile strikes on a military target near Damascus, Sana has reported. A military source revealed that missiles were fired from northern Galilee against a Syrian air defence unit in the Nabi Habeel area.

According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the strikes targeted Hezbollah rocket and ammunition depots in a mountainous area near the town of Zabadani close to the Lebanese border, destroying them and causing casualties. Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said that pro-Iran groups use the mountains around Zabadani to store weapons and ammunition prior to transporting them to Lebanon.

Israel has refused to comment on the attack. “We do not comment on foreign media reports,” an army spokesperson told AFP.

Nevertheless, Israel has repeatedly bombed Iranian-backed militia targets in Syria, saying that its goal was to end Tehran’s military presence, which Western intelligence sources say has expanded in recent years in the war-torn country. In July, for example, Israeli helicopters struck military targets in southern Syria in retaliation for earlier “munitions” fire towards the occupation state.

Hezbollah has deployed fighters in Syria as part of Iranian-backed efforts to support President Bashar Al-Assad in a conflict that began after government forces brutally cracked down on peaceful protestors calling for political change in 2011.

According to Israel, the presence of Hezbollah and its backer Iran in Syria is a strategic threat. It has mounted hundreds of raids on Iranian-linked targets in the country.

READ: Syria’s air defences confront an ‘Israeli aggression’ in Masyaf