Three foreign nationals, believed to be Iranians, were killed in an alleged pre-dawn Israeli missile attack in Syria, according to an opposition war monitoring group in the country.
Syrian air defenses opened fire Sunday night on missiles fired by Israeli army from inside Israel, state media reported. Syrian state TV gave no further details but residents of Damascus said explosions could be heard near the capital. State TV said one of the Israeli missiles was shot down near the Damascus suburb of Aqraba.
"In the Israeli missile attack last night south of the Syrian capital, at least three foreign nationals - probably of Iranian origin - were killed," said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in a statement.
There was also no immediate comment from Israel.
The Syrian Observatory, that has activists around the country, added that the missile attack targeted Iranian and Syrian military positions near Damascus.
Lebanese daily newspaper Al Akhbar also reported that Israel struck several arms depots near the Syrian town of Sayyidah Zaynab, some 10 km (6 miles) south of Damascus.
According to this report, missiles were seen off the Lebanese coast in Syria and the Golan Heights.
In neighboring Lebanon, Israeli warplanes could be heard flying in the country's airspace at the time of the airstrikes in Syria. Damascus had said in the past that Israeli warplanes have fired missiles into Syria from Lebanon's airspace.
Last month, Israel said it struck dozens of Iranian targets in Syria in a "wide-scale" operation in response to rocket fire on the Golan Heights the day before.
Israel has repeatedly struck Iran-linked targets in Syria in recent years and has warned against any permanent Iranian presence on the frontier.
Iran has forces based in Syria, Israel's northern neighbor, and supports Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.
First published: 08:40 , 12.23.19