Iran-linked sites around Damascus said hit in Israeli strike

Illustrative: An Israel Air Force F-16, December 31, 2015 (Ofer Zidon / Flash90)
Monitoring group says ‘at least six Israeli missiles hit several positions’ near Syrian capital belonging to regime forces, pro-Tehran militias; Syrian media says 7 troops injured.

Military sites linked to Syrian regime forces and Iranian militias were targeted Monday in Israeli strikes near Damascus, according to a monitoring group.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the aerial bombardment caused several explosions around Damascus.

“At least six Israeli missiles hit several positions belonging to regime forces and pro-Iran militias south of Damascus,” Observatory head Rami Abdul Rahman told AFP.

“Air defenses did not intercept a single target,” he said, adding it was unknown if there were casualties and the extent of damage remained unclear.

A military source quoted by Syria’s official SANA news agency said Israeli fighter planes over the Golan Heights fired rockets toward Damascus. The news agency said seven soldiers were hurt and damage was caused, but claimed that most of the rockets were intercepted.

AFP correspondents in Damascus said they heard several loud blasts.

A military spokesman in Israel told AFP that it “does not comment on foreign reports.”

The strikes were the first in Syria to be attributed to Israel since June, when the Observatory said nine fighters were killed in airstrikes targeting positions of Iran-backed militias near the Iraqi border.

Those strikes came hours after a similar raid killed six other Tehran-backed fighters.

Israel has launched hundreds of strikes in Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011. It has targeted government troops, allied Iranian forces and fighters from the Lebanese Shiite terror group Hezbollah.

It rarely confirms details of its operations in Syria, but says Iran’s presence in support of President Bashar Assad and Hezbollah is a threat and that it will continue its strikes.

(Times of Israel).

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