2 Hezbollah fighters among 4 killed in Israel strikes near Damascus: Monitor

AFP , Monday 11 Dec 2023

Israeli strikes overnight near Damascus killed two Hezbollah fighters and two Syrians working with the Lebanese group, a war monitor said Monday, the latest such attack as Israel continues its war on Gaza.

Smoke billows across the horizon along the hills in southern Lebanon from Israeli bombardment from a
Smoke billows across the horizon along the hills in southern Lebanon from Israeli bombardment from a position along the border in northern Israel on December 10, 2023. AFP

 

Two Hezbollah sites in the Sayyida Zeinab district south of the capital and "a radar battalion" near the airport were targeted late Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

"Two Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and two Syrian guards" were killed, while three other "fighters" and three civilians were wounded, added the Britain-based Observatory, which is closed to the Syrian opposition., and says it relies on a network of sources inside Syria.

Hezbollah issued statements on Monday announcing the death of two of its fighters, without specifying where or when it happened.

But a source close to Hezbollah, requesting anonymity, told AFP the pair were killed in Syria.

Israel has launched hundreds of air strikes on Syria since 2011, primarily targeting Iran-backed forces including Hezbollah fighters, as well as Syrian army positions.

But it has intensified attacks since the Israeli war on Gaza started on October 7.

Earlier the Syrian state news agency SANA, citing a military source, reported that Israel launched an air assault at around 2005 GMT targeting "various points on the outskirts of Damascus".

"Our anti-aircraft defences shot down some missiles while others caused limited material damage," it said.

An AFP correspondent reported strong explosions in the Damascus suburbs.

Israel rarely comments on individual strikes targeting Syria, but it has repeatedly said it will not allow arch-foe Iran, which backs Assad, to expand its presence there.

The Israeli army declined to comment on the SANA report but said separately that shots had been fired from Lebanon towards northern Israel on Sunday evening.

Lebanon's National News Agency reported Israeli shelling and strikes at various points along the southern border with Israel on Sunday.

Three Hezbollah fighters and a Syrian were killed on Friday in an Israeli drone strike on their car in southern Syria, the Observatory said.

Damascus's international airport is currently out of service after successive Israeli strikes targeted the facility.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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