Four Syria soldiers killed in Israeli strikes near Damascus: State media

AFP , Monday 7 Aug 2023

Four Syrian soldiers were killed and four others wounded in Israeli air strikes near the capital Damascus early Monday, state media said, citing a military source.

File Photo - A handout picture released by the official Syrian News Agency (SANA) shows damage caused to a building following a reported Israeli missile strike aimed at Iranian and Hezbollah targets in the Syrian capital Damascus on February 19, 2023. AFP


"At 2:20 am (2320 GMT Sunday), the Israeli enemy carried out an air attack from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan, targeting areas in the vicinity of Damascus," state news agency SANA reported.

The attack killed "four soldiers and wounded four others", it said, reporting unspecified material damage and adding that Syrian air defences intercepted some of the missiles.

An AFP correspondent in the capital reported hearing the sound of explosions.

During more than a decade of war in Syria, Israel has launched hundreds of air strikes on its territory, primarily targeting Iran-backed forces and Hezbollah fighters as well as Syrian army positions.

While Israel rarely comments on the strikes it carries out on Syria, it has repeatedly said it will not allow its archfoe Iran to expand its footprint there.

On July 19, Israeli air strikes near Damascus killed three pro-government fighters and wounded four others, a war monitor said at the time.

SANA had reported two soldiers were wounded in those strikes. It quoted a military source as saying the bombing targeted "certain positions in the vicinity of Damascus".

Syria's foreign ministry had condemned that attack "in the strongest terms".

In a statement carried by SANA, it called on the United Nations and the Security Council to "take immediate action" to oblige Israel "to desist from these criminal policies".

Early last month, state media said Israel had carried out air strikes near the government-held city of Homs.

The Israeli army later said it struck an anti-aircraft battery after rocket fire.

On June 14, Israel carried out air strikes near Damascus wounding a soldier, according to SANA.

Previous Israeli strikes have put both Damascus and Aleppo airports out of service.

And in late March and early April, Israel stepped up its strikes on Syria with four raids on government-held areas in less than a week, targeting positions of Syrian government forces and pro-Iran groups.

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