— SPECIAL SECURITY REPORT —
IDF Spokesperson’s Unit refuses to comment on foreign reports.
By ANNA AHRONHEIM, REUTERS
At least 23 Iranian militia members fighting in Syria were reported to have been killed in alleged IAF airstrikes on Thursday against several targets in the war-torn country.
According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least three government Iranian positions near Damascus and west of the capital were targeted. Syria’s official SANA news agency said the Israeli strikes came in two waves and hit the al-Kiswah area as well as Marj al-Sultan and Jisr Baghdad.
The first wave at 1:12 a.m. “targeted some of our military positions in the suburbs of Damascus,” SANA quoted a military source as saying. The second wave at 1:41 a.m. “targeted military positions in the surroundings of Dara’a, Quneitra and Damascus countryside with a number of missiles fired by Israeli warplanes from the airspace in southern Lebanon and the occupied Golan.”
While the IDF does not comment on foreign media reports, Israel has been carrying out a war-between-wars campaign in Syria since 2013, working to prevent the entrenchment of Iranian forces and the transfer of advanced weaponry from Iran to Hezbollah. The IAF has admitted to carrying out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria since the Syrian civil war erupted in March 2011.
The Syrian defense ministry claimed that Syrian air defenses intercepted the Israeli missiles over Damascus that were fired at military targets.
Israel has repeatedly bombed Iranian-backed militia targets in Syria, saying its goal was to end Tehran’s military presence there, which Western intelligence sources say has expanded in recent years.
Last month, the Syrian Armed Forces said IAF jets attacked the T-4 airbase in Homs province. In December, it said the air-defense system intercepted missiles fired from the direction of Israel aimed at targets on the outskirts of Damascus.
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