Israeli strikes kill 3 Iran-backed fighters in Syria – monitor

Israeli strikes overnight targeting Syrian regime military positions and a weapons depot near Damascus killed three Iran-backed militia fighters, a Britain-based war monitor says.

The strikes near the capital “destroyed a weapons depot likely used by the Lebanese Hezbollah militia,” among other Iran-backed groups, says the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“It also killed three… Iran-backed militia fighters,” says the pro-opposition monitor, which has had its reliability questioned in the past.

The Observatory says it cannot determine their nationalities but that they are all non-Syrians.

The official SANA news agency reports the raids but not the casualties, saying four soldiers were wounded in the attack.

“At around 12:56 the Israeli enemy carried out an aggression from the direction of Lebanon on some positions in the vicinity of Damascus,” SANA says, citing a military source. “Our air defenses intercepted the aggression and shot down” most of the missiles, the news outlet says, adding that “four soldiers were injured.”

The strikes also caused “some material damage.”

The source does not provide details on the targets.

Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Israel has routinely carried out raids in Syria, mostly targeting Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces as well as government troops.

Israel rarely confirms the strikes, but its army has said it hit about 50 targets in the war-torn country last year, without providing details.

The Hezbollah terror organization is the only group in Lebanon not to have disarmed after the 1975-1990 civil war, but is also a major player in Lebanese politics. It is a strong ally of Iran and Damascus and has been officially fighting in Syria since 2013.