Israeli missile fire allegedly injures soldier near Syrian capital Damascus

The missile fire is the latest attack in an ongoing shadow conflict unfolding in Syria between Israel and Iran.

Yellow caution tape outlines an area of debris from a missile attack.
Israel has been accused of launching hundreds of missile attacks on Syria, including this one on February 19 [File: Firas Makdesi/Reuters]

Israeli missiles have injured a soldier near the Syrian capital of Damascus, according to the Syrian state media agency SANA.

The reported launch, which took place late on Monday, is the latest in a string of aerial attacks conducted by Israel as it seeks to limit Iranian involvement in Syria.

“The Israeli enemy carried out an attack with missiles sent from the occupied Golan Heights,” SANA said, noting “material damage” in the area around Damascus.

The media agency also reported that Syria’s air defences had intercepted “hostile targets” in the vicinity of the capital.

Since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, the country has become another site in a broader, longstanding proxy war between Iran and Israel, unfolding across the Middle East.

Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah have supported the government of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the civil war, providing training and troops.

Israel, meanwhile, has responded with rocket fire, targeting areas controlled by the Syrian government in an attempt to stem Iranian influence. The Israeli government, however, has rarely acknowledged these attacks.

A previous Israeli air attack on August 7 reportedly killed four soldiers on the outskirts of Damascus.

Much of the missile fire is thought to come from the Golan Heights, a fertile region Israel seized from Syria in 1967, during the Six-Day War.

In 1981, Israel’s legislature passed a law effectively annexing the Golan Heights, imposing its laws on the region. The United Nations has called the decision “null and void and without international legal effect”.

But in 2019, under then-President Donald Trump, the United States issued a proclamation acknowledging Israel’s claims over the contested plateau.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused any notion of returning the Golan Heights to Syria, telling reporters in 2021: “As far as I am concerned, the Golan Heights will remain forever part of the State of Israel, a sovereign part.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies