The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday that at least eight pro-Iranian foreign fighters were killed in an air strike near Damascus on Tuesday night that Syria attributed to Israel.
The Syrian news agency SANA report, which quotes an unidentified military official, said the warplanes struck locations south of the capital shortly before midnight, from the Israeli side of the Golan Heights.
The strike targeted an military base in Jabal Mane Heights near the town of Kiswa, where Iranian Revolutionary Guards have long been entrenched in a rugged area almost 15 km (9.3 miles) south of the center of Damascus.
Earlier, SANA said Syria’s air defenses responded to incoming missiles.
Later reports on SANA and Syrian Al-Ikhbariya TV said Israeli warplanes struck in a village in Quneitra province on the edge of the Golan Heights and in southwest of Damascus. They offered no details.
Israel last week acknowledged attacking Iran-linked targets on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights after spotting a cell planting roadside bombs near one of its positions.
Israel has allegedly launched hundreds of strikes on Iran-linked military targets in Syria over the years but rarely acknowledges such operations. Last week’s operation appeared to be sending a public message to Iran and Syria after discovering the anti-personnel mines near its troops.
There was no immediate Israeli comment late Tuesday.
Last month, an overnight attack on a location in Quneitra was reported by Syrian media, which also said Israeli warplanes were behind it. A war monitor said three people were killed in that attack on a post used by Iran-allied militias.
Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move that is not internationally recognized. It says it targets mostly sites of Iranian units and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah in Syria, seeking to curb Tehran’s influence near its borders.
Such attacks have increased in recent months. Iran is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the country’s civil war.
First published: 06:42 , 11.25.20