Israeli strike kills three Syrian soldiers near Damascus

Israeli strike kills three Syrian soldiers near Damascus

DAMASCUS (AFP): An Israeli strike killed three Syrian soldiers and wounded seven others near Damascus early Friday, the Syrian defence ministry said.

“The Israeli enemy carried out an air strike… from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan… The aggression killed three soldiers and wounded seven others,” the ministry said in a statement.

Syrian air defence intercepted some of the missiles, the statement said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said that three more people had been killed and that ten people were wounded in total.

The monitor, which relies on a wide network of sources inside Syria, said that the strikes targeted an airforce intelligence facility, and a high-ranking officer’s office, also striking a car near the Mezzeh military airport.

The missiles also destroyed an “Iranian weapons depot”, the monitor said.

Since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes against its neighbour, targeting government troops as well as allied Iran-backed forces and Hezbollah fighters.

While Israel rarely comments on individual strikes, it has acknowledged carrying out hundreds of them.

The Israeli military says the strikes are necessary to prevent its arch-foe Iran from gaining a foothold on its doorstep.

Last month Israeli strikes on Damascus International Airport rendered its runways unusable for weeks.

Besides the extensive damage caused to civilian and military runways, the monitor said the strikes had targeted nearby warehouses used as weapons depots by Iran and Hezbollah.

The conflict in Syria started with the brutal repression of peaceful protests and escalated to pull in foreign powers and global jihadists.

The war has killed nearly half a million people and forced around half of the country’s pre-war population from their homes.

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