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New Israeli strike on Syria kills two civilians — state media

By AFP - Apr 05,2023 - Last updated at Apr 05,2023

Flares of Syrian air defence rockets are seen in the sky of Damascus on Tuesday (AFP photo)

DAMASCUS — An Israeli air strike on Tuesday killed two Syrian civilians, state media reported, the fourth such attack on government-held areas of the war-torn country in less than a week.

During more than a decade of civil war in Syria, Israel has launched hundreds of air strikes on its territory, primarily targeting Iran-backed forces and Lebanese Hizbollah fighters as well as Syrian army positions.

"The Israeli enemy carried out an air strike" shortly after midnight, resulting "in the death of two civilians", Syrian state news agency SANA reported, quoting a military source.

The attack came from the direction of "the occupied Syrian Golan, targeting some points in the vicinity of Damascus and the southern region", it said, adding Syria's air defences intercepted most of the missiles.

While Israel rarely comments on the strikes it carries out on Syria, it has repeatedly said it will not allow its arch-foe Iran to extend its footprint in the war-torn country.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor gave the same civilian death toll, with its director Rami Abdel Rahman adding that at least "one non-Syrian Iran-backed fighter" was also killed in the assault.

Israel fired "barrages of missiles targeting military areas controlled by Iran-backed groups and regime air defence," said the observatory, a Britain-based group that relies on a network of sources inside Syria.

An Israeli missile targeted a radar in the countryside of Sweida, while another hit a glass factory in the Al Kiswah area of the Damascus countryside, killing the two civilians, it said.

The monitor had earlier said the missiles also targeted the vicinity of Damascus International Airport and an Iranian complex near the Sayyida Zeinab area, with Syria’s air defences intercepting at least two missiles.


Iran Guards killed 


Syria’s foreign ministry condemned the strike.

“Syria warns Israel and its sponsors once again of the dangers of these aggressive policies which push the region towards total escalation and a new phase of insecurity and instability,” it said in a statement.

Iran, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, says it only deploys military advisers in the conflict-ravaged country.

Thousands of Iranians on Tuesday attended a funeral procession in Tehran for two Revolutionary Guard killed in Israeli strikes in Syria last week.

In Friday’s aerial assault, Israeli missiles targeted positions near Damascus, Syrian state media had reported, a day after Israeli strikes near the capital wounded two Syrian soldiers, according to the defence ministry.

“We will avenge the blood of martyrs Milad Heidari and Meghdad Mahghani,” Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps spokesman Ramazan Sharif said, according to Iran’s Tasnim news agency, while thousands gathered in central Tehran to mourn them, chanting “Down with Israel”.

On Sunday, two Iran-affiliated fighters were killed in an Israeli air strike on targets in Syria, according to the observatory, with SANA reporting five Syrian soldiers wounded in the assault near the western city of Homs.

The same day, a rare car bombing rocked Damascus, with no deaths reported and no side claiming responsibility.

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