Several pro-Iran militiamen reported killed in Israeli strikes on Syria

Among those killed, said SOHR, were three regime members, including an officer of the Air-Defense Forces, and seven other non-Syrian militiamen of Iranian-backed militias and Hezbollah.
Tuesday 01/09/2020
A file picture shows Syrian air defences responding to Israeli missiles targeting south of the capital Damascus, on July 20. (AFP)
A file picture shows Syrian air defences responding to Israeli missiles targeting south of the capital Damascus, on July 20. (AFP)

BEIRUT--Several pro-Iran militiamen were killed and injured in presumed Israeli strikes on Syria, said a Syrian war watchdog.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said Tuesday that ten members of regime forces and pro-Iranian militias were killed in “Israeli rocket attacks on positions of regime forces and, Iranian-backed militias and Hezbollah in Al-Keswah area, the perimeter of Damascus international airport, Air Defense Battalion in Al-Hayjana south of the capital, Damascus, and other positions in Daraa.”

Among those killed, it said, were three regime members, including an officer of the Air-Defense Forces, and seven other non-Syrian militiamen of Iranian-backed militias and Hezbollah.

The observatory identified the targets of Israeli strikes as regime forces’ positions in rural Damascus and Daraa. “One of the strikes hit the perimeter of Damascus international airport and al-Kiswa area, south of Damascus,” it said.

It pointed out that Israeli missiles shelled the perimeter of Izraa, the battalions of Namir and Qarfa and Tal Mahaja in north-eastern countryside of Daraa, “where Lebanese Hezbollah forces are present.”

But a Syrian military source said that an Israeli missile attack on Syria killed two people, injured seven others and caused damage on Monday, Syrian state media reported.

The state news agency SANA said that Syrian air defences had intercepted most of the Israeli missiles launched from the direction of the Golan Heights toward military sites south of Damascus.

An Israeli military spokesman contacted earlier by Reuters had declined to comment on the initial report by Syrian state media of an Israeli air strike.

Earlier this month, Israeli aircraft attacked targets in Syria in what it described as retaliation for an attempted bombing of a fence along the Golan armistice line between the two countries by what Israel described as an enemy squad.

Israel has repeatedly attacked Iranian targets in Syria and those of allied militias, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Israel sees Iran’s presence in Syria, in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government in the country’s civil war, as a strategic threat.