BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s air defenses responded Saturday to missiles fired from Israel toward suburbs of the capital Damascus, wounding two soldiers, the Syrian military said.
Syria’s state news agency SANA quoted a statement by an unnamed military official who said the air defenses shot down several incoming surface-to-surface missiles from northern Israel just before noon, which also caused damage in the area.
Israel carries out raids on Syria mostly during nighttime and rarely comments on individual attacks.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor from the Syrian opposition, said the missiles hit northwest of Damascus, killing five Iran-allied militiamen. The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists on the ground, said it was not clear if those killed were Syrians or foreigners.
There was no official word on deaths.
The Observatory said the target was a shipment of weapons and ammunition heading to Lebanon. It had earlier said that the areas hit contain arms depots for Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, and positions of the Syrian military and Iran-backed militias.
Saturday’s strikes came days after Syria accused Israel of carrying out an attack in the country’s south, without offering details.
Israel has launched hundreds of strikes against Iran-linked military targets in Syria over the years but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations.
Israel has acknowledged it is targeting bases of Iran-allied militias, such as the powerful Lebanese militant Hezbollah group. It is going after arms shipments believed to be bound for the group. Hezbollah is fighting on the side of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces in the civil war.
Israel views Iranian entrenchment on its northern frontier as a red line, and it has repeatedly struck Iran-linked facilities and weapons convoys destined for Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group.
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