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Seven dead, Syrian and Iranian forces, in Israeli strikes near Damascus

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Night strikes attributed to Israel killed seven members of the Syrian army and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Israel has not claimed responsibility for the strikes, which occurred just before midnight near the capital, Damascus.

But the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, said in a call to Agence France-Presse, “Seven Israeli fighters, three from the Syrian army and four from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, were killed in the nightly Israeli raids.”

He pointed out that the bombing hit the “airport area.”

For its part, the official Syrian news agency “SANA” announced that the Syrian air defenses on Thursday evening, intercepted missiles, over the sky of the capital, Damascus, from the occupied Golan.

SANA quoted a military source as saying that on Thursday night at 23:45 (21:45 GMT), “enemy missiles were detected coming from the occupied Golan, and our air defense systems immediately dealt with them and dropped a number of enemy missiles before reaching their targets.”

An AFP correspondent in Damascus confirmed that explosions were heard throughout the Syrian capital.

Since the outbreak of the conflict in Syria in 2011, the Israeli army has launched a series of raids in Syria, mainly targeting Syrian army sites and Iranian and other targets for the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Transfer of weapons

The Hebrew State reiterates that it will continue to respond to what it describes as Iran’s attempts to consolidate its military presence in Syria and to send advanced weapons to Hezbollah.

Last week, at least 23 fighters, including Syrian soldiers and gunmen loyal to Tehran, were killed in an air strike that the Syrian regime accused Israel of launching on military sites near Damascus and in the south of the country.

On January 14, strikes targeting the “Tayfur” military airport in the center of the country and Damascus accused Israel of launching it, killed at least three pro-Iranian fighters, according to the observatory.

On November 20, the Israeli army claimed responsibility for a series of “large-scale” air strikes targeting forces of the Syrian regime and another of the Iranian Qods Force, killing 21 fighters, including 16 foreigners, in addition to two civilians, according to the observatory.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed at the time that the Quds Force, in charge of foreign operations in the Islamic Republic of Iran, was among the goals.

Then he accused Iran of preparing for attacks against Israel, stressing that he would do everything to prevent it from doing so.

“This includes the necessary measures to prevent the transfer of deadly weapons from Iran to Syria, whether by air or by land,” he said.

Tehran is a major supporter of Damascus. Since the conflict began in 2011, it has provided significant political, economic and military support to Damascus. With Shiite groups loyal to it, it was able to adjust the balance of forces on the ground in favor of the Syrian government forces on several fronts.

Since the Syrian conflict began in 2011, more than 380,000 people have been killed and more than half of the country’s population, which was counting more than 20 million people, were forced to flee or seek refuge outside the country.

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