Two men were killed in an alleged Israeli drone strike in southern Syria on Thursday, media outlets affiliated with Syria’s opposition reported.
According to the reports, the strike took place near the town of Beit Jinn, around 10 kilometers (six miles) from the Israeli border in the Golan Heights.
The two men were reportedly riding on a motorcycle when they were struck by a missile.
They were named in unverified reports as Ali Okasha Abu Jarrah and Zaher as-Saadi Abu Alaa, and their affiliations were not known. Rumors on social media said they were members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, but sources in the terror group told the Lebanese al-Ahed newspaper there was no truth to this.
There was no immediate comment from Syrian authorities or pro-government media outlets on the alleged strike.
While Israel’s military does not, as a rule, comment on specific strikes in Syria, it has admitted to conducting hundreds of sorties against Iran-backed groups attempting to gain a foothold in the country, over the last decade.
انفجار داخل بلدة #بيت_جن في ريف #دمشق الغربي ناجم عن قيام طائرة مسيرة #إسرائيلية باستهداف علي عكاشة أبو جراح ، زاهر السعدي أبو علاء على دراجة نارية مما أدى لمقتلهما على الفور pic.twitter.com/SMN5StJhz1
— Nour Golan (@nourabohsn) September 21, 2023
The Israeli military says it attacks arms shipments believed to be bound for those groups, chief among them Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Additionally, airstrikes attributed to Israel have repeatedly targeted Syrian air defense systems.
In the past, strikes on areas closer to the Israeli border in the Golan Heights have targeted specific individuals suspected of plotting attacks against Israel or in the midst of carrying them out.
Israel has repeatedly accused the Syrian military of actively assisting the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group in the area.