Syria says Israel strikes southern Damascus; Iranian base hit
Israeli air strikes on Syria are part of a shadow war approved by the US as part of its anti-Iran policy, sources say.
Syrian air defences on Monday intercepted a barrage of missiles fired near the capital Damascus, state media reported, in the latest wave of suspected Israeli attacks.
Sources said Israeli air raids struck a major Iranian-backed ammunition depot on the edge of the capital and Iranian fighters were reportedly killed.
State television said Israeli missiles were fired over the Syrian Golan Heights and live footage showed blasts across the skies of Damascus.
“The Israelis have targeted a major ammunitions depot. There were several strikes and the blasts were huge. There are reports that Iranian personnel have been killed,” said Zaid al-Reys, a Syrian analyst in touch with sources on the ground.
A Syrian military spokesman was quoted as saying air defences thwarted most of the missiles that targeted southern Damascus suburbs, areas that Israel has hit in the past, before reaching their targets and inflicted only “material losses”.
Syrian military defectors said the strike targeted a major Iranian-run ammunitions depot in Jabal al-Mane near the town of Kiswa, where Iranian Revolutionary Guards have long been entrenched in a rugged area 15km (9.3 miles) south of the centre of Damascus.
The blasts were so severe they were heard in the capital and shook windows of several neighbourhoods there, according to residents.
The bases in eastern, central and southern Syria that Israel had hit in recent months are believed to have a strong presence of Iranian-backed militias, according to intelligence sources and military defectors familiar with the locations.
Syria never publicly acknowledges the attacks target Iranian assets in a country where Tehran’s military presence has covered most government-controlled areas.
Western intelligence sources say Israel’s strikes on Syria are part of a shadow war approved by the United States and part of its anti-Iran policy.
Israel has acknowledged conducting many raids inside Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011.
Israeli defence officials have said in recent months that Israel would step up its campaign against Iran in Syria where, with the help of its proxy militias, Tehran has expanded its presence.