Report: New Israeli airstrikes in Syria kill five, wound four foreign fighters

A tunnel under excavation at the Imam Ali base near the Syria-Iraq border. Credit: ImageSat International.
A missile depot and other weapons warehouses were also destroyed, reported Syrian media.

Israel launched airstrikes on Monday against military targets south of Damascus, killing five foreign fighters and wounding four others, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday.

It was not known if the killed and wounded fighters were Iranian or were affiliated with the Lebanese Hezbollah, said the opposition affiliated Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Another seven air-defense forces were injured.

A missile depot and other weapons warehouses were also destroyed, according to the report.

Russian aircraft were launched to the area of attack in Syria but refrained from responding, a report says.

The attack in Damascus Monday night was the first air raid executed in Syria following the defense pact signed between Bashar al-Assad’s regime and Iran.

Over the past few weeks, reports broke about Iran’s intention to beef up Syria’s defense system with self-produced military supplies, particularly for the defense of Syrian, as well as Lebanese, airspace.

According to the news outlet Mako, the Iranians are interested in sending some of their own surface-to-air defense systems after the reported failure of the Russian S-300 and Pantsir surface-to-air missile systems that were deployed in Syria.

The weapons mentioned in the Mako report are the Iranian Bavar-373, which Tehran describes as its version of the S-300, and the Khordad 15 surface-to-air missile system unveiled for the first time on June 9, 2019.

Bavar, unveiled in 2016 after a decade-long development, is said to be able to detect targets or planes at more than 185 miles, and destroy them at 125 miles.

The newer Khordad 15 can allegedly detect fighter jets, drones and missiles at a 93-mile distance.

The Syrian military said on Monday that its air defenses responded to Israeli airstrikes and “intercepted most of the missiles”, reported Syria’s state news agency SANA. The attack injured seven soldiers and caused damage, it said.

Numerous strikes against Iranian and Hezbollah sites in Syria have been reported by foreign sources this year.


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