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Syria says three soldiers killed in Israeli strikes near Damascus

State media claims most missiles shot down by air defenses, hours after Israel warns Syrian troops near border that they will be targeted for working with Hezbollah

A still from a video purporting to show Syrian air defenses intercepting an Israeli missile, on February 24, 2022. (screen capture: YouTube/SANA)
A still from a video purporting to show Syrian air defenses intercepting an Israeli missile, on February 24, 2022. (screen capture: YouTube/SANA)

Three Syrian soldiers were killed on Thursday morning in an Israeli airstrike near the capital Damascus, Syria’s state media said.

The alleged strike came hours after Israel apparently dropped leaflets on Syrian army positions warning that they could be targeted for collaborating with Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah.

“The Israeli enemy carried out an air assault with several missiles,” state media SANA reported, adding three soldiers were killed.

There was also unspecified material damage, it said.

It claimed Syrian air defenses intercepted most of the missiles in the attack, which occurred at around 1:10 a.m.

Syrian social media users said explosions were heard in Damascus and its suburbs, including the town of Zakiya, where Israeli strikes also allegedly occurred last week.

Video published by SANA purported to show a missile being shot down.

As a rule, Israel’s military does not comment on specific strikes in Syria, but has admitted to conducting hundreds of sorties against Iran-backed groups attempting to gain a foothold in the country.

Early Wednesday morning, Israel allegedly fired surface-to-surface missiles at an observation post and “finance building” near the border town of Quneitra on the Syrian Golan Heights.

Israel later dropped leaflets on the area warning Syrian soldiers that they could be targeted for working with Hezbollah.

“To the leaders and members of the Syrian army, we have warned you and continue to warn you, we will not stop as long as your cooperation with Hezbollah continues” the flyer read.

The flyer named the Hezbollah official that the IDF believes is facilitating the relationship between the Iran-backed terror group and the Syrian military, Jawad Hasham, the son of Hajj Hasham, who leads Hezbollah’s efforts along the Syrian border.

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