Apparent Israeli strike on area of Syrian capital where Iran-backed fighters operate kills 2 people

AP , Monday 29 Jan 2024

Syrian media and an opposition war monitor said an apparent Israeli airstrike on a Damascus suburb where Iran-backed fighters have a presence killed two people on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Security and emergency personnel search the rubble of a building destroyed in a reported
FILE PHOTO: Security and emergency personnel search the rubble of a building destroyed in a reported Israeli strike in Damascus. AFP


An official from an Iranian-backed group said the strike also caused some material damage.

There was no immediate comment from Israel.

The strike comes amid rising tension in the Middle East with the ongoing Israeli-Hamas war in Gaza and a drone attack on Sunday that killed three U.S. troops and injured dozens more in northeastern Jordan, near the Syrian border.

Days earlier, an Israeli strike on Damascus destroyed a building used by the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, killing at least five Iranians.

Monday's strike hit the area of Aqraba, on the edge of the southern Damascus suburb of Sayida Zeinab, according to the pro-government Dama Post. The report did not provide otehr details.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the strike hit a farm housing members of Lebanon’s Iran-backed militant Hezbollah group and other Iran-backed factions.

An official with one of the Iranian-backed groups, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss military activities, said two Syrian citizens were killed in Monday's strike. No Hezbollah members were hurt, the official said.

Last month, a presumed Israeli airstrike on Sayida Zeinab killed Iranian Gen. Seyed Razi Mousavi, a longtime adviser of the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in Syria. Israel has also targeted Palestinian and Lebanese operatives in Syria over the past years.

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of war-torn Syria in recent years.

Israel rarely acknowledges its actions in Syria, but it has said that it targets bases of Iran-allied militant groups, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

Earlier in January, a strike said to be carried out by Israel killed top Hamas commander Saleh Arouri in Beirut.

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