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5 pro-Iran fighters said killed in alleged Israeli strike near Damascus

Opposition-linked Syrian war monitor says several others injured; Syrian state media says two soldiers were wounded

Smoke rises in the countryside of Damascus, Syria, on October 30, 2021, following what Syrian state media said was an Israeli strike. (AP Photo/Omar Sanadiki)
Smoke rises in the countryside of Damascus, Syria, on October 30, 2021, following what Syrian state media said was an Israeli strike. (AP Photo/Omar Sanadiki)

An Israeli missile strike killed five pro-Iran militiamen near Damascus on Saturday, a war monitor said, while state media said two Syrian soldiers were wounded in the attack.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strike “destroyed a Hezbollah and Iranian weapons and ammunition” convoy heading towards Lebanon.

At least five pro-Iranian fighters were killed and several wounded, said the war monitor.

The report could not be independently verified. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition-linked group with unclear funding, has at times been accused of inflating casualty numbers.

Earlier state news agency SANA, quoting a military source, said two Syrian soldiers were wounded after explosions were heard in the Syrian capital.

“The Israeli enemy fired a salvo of surface-to-surface missiles from northern occupied Palestine targeting positions near Damascus,” SANA said.

“Our anti-aircraft defenses were activated and were able to hit some of the enemy missiles,” the source said, adding that the attack wounded two soldiers and caused damage.

AFP correspondents in Damascus heard multiple explosions at around midday.

Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Israel has routinely carried out airstrikes inside Syria, mostly targeting Iran-backed terror groups, in addition to Syrian government troops.

It is rare for the Jewish state to carry out strikes on Syrian targets during daylight hours.

The Israeli military rarely acknowledges individual strikes but has said repeatedly that it will not allow Syria to become a stronghold of Iran.

On October 14, an Israeli airstrike on Iranian positions in central Syria killed nine fighters allied to the Syrian government.

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