A Syrian war monitoring group said Tuesday that Israeli airstrikes the previous day on military posts south of the capital city of Damascus killed five militants and wounded eleven.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it wasn’t immediately clear if the dead were Iranians or members of Iran-backed groups but they were not Syrians, according to SOHR.
The group, which tracks the Syrian civil war through a network of activists on the ground, added that the wounded included four militants and seven soldiers from the Syrian Air Force’s Air Defense Force. Two of them are in serious condition.
According to SANA, Syria’s state news agency, Syrian air defense systems blared on Monday evening after Israeli aircraft launched missiles toward the south Damascus from over the Golan Heights.
The missiles reportedly struck arms depots and military posts on the southern edge of Damascus.
“The Israelis have targeted a major ammunition depot,” Syrian analyst Zaid al Reys, said. “There were several strikes and the blasts were huge. There are reports that Iranian personnel have been killed.”
Following the strike on Monday evening, Israel closed off its airspace above the Golan Heights east of the Jordan until August.
Israel rarely comments on such reports but is believed to have carried out scores of raids targeting Iran’s military presence in Syria. In the past two months alone, Syria has accused Israel of carrying out at least eight air raids on its territory. The last reported strikes came in late June.
Iran has been a key ally of the Syrian government in the nearly decade-long civil war. Tehran sent thousands of Iran-backed fighters in the past years to fight alongside Syrian government forces.
Israel views Iran as a regional menace and has vowed to prevent any permanent Iranian military buildup in Syria, particularly near its frontier.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem & AP)