11 dead in alleged Israeli airstrikes in Syria - report

While Syrian officials are accusing Israel of being behind the attack, the IDF has yet to comment or confirm.

Attack in Syria on August 25, 2019. (photo credit: ARAB MEDIA)
Attack in Syria on August 25, 2019.
(photo credit: ARAB MEDIA)
Eleven people were killed in alleged Israeli airstrikes near Damascus on Monday night, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
Syrian air defenses intercepted missiles over the southern region of the country on Monday near Damascus, state television cited a Syrian military source as saying. The source accused Israel of being behind the attacks.
The strikes reportedly killed seven Iranian-backed militants of non-Syrian nationalities and three Syrian soldiers, according to SOHR. A civilian woman was killed by shrapnel in the strikes as well.
The state news agency SANA, cited a military source as saying that only two people were killed, and seven were injured. The agency said a civilian woman had been killed and her husband injured in the blast. It was not immediately clear if she was among the two deaths initially reported by the military source, which had said that seven soldiers were wounded.
While Syrian officials accuse Israel of being behind the attack, the IDF has not confirmed this. IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman told KAN Reshet Bet radio on Tuesday that “the IDF is working to secure strategic objectives with a series of operations, especially in the northern sector.”
Israel has repeatedly attacked Iranian targets in Syria and those of allied militias, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
Earlier in August, the IDF carried out airstrikes against targets belonging to the Syrian military in southern Syria, in the southwestern region of Damascus as well as in Quneitra in response to an attempted terrorist attack that was thwarted along the Syrian border the night before.
“The IDF sees the Syrian regime as responsible for all operations carried out in its territory and will continue to act with determination against all attacks on the sovereignty of the State of Israel,” the IDF said following the incident at the time.
During the thwarted attack, the army said that during an investigation of the scene, some 25 meters from the perimeter fence inside Israeli territory, weapons and a bag containing a number of explosive devices were found.
“Special forces that were carrying out an ambush near an IDF post in the southern Golan Heights spotted a cell with a number of terrorists planting explosive devices along the border. An IDF force and an aircraft opened fire together on the four-member cell and hit them,” the IDF said in a statement.
Israel has destroyed one-third of Syrian air defenses in the past two years, and close to a thousand surface-to-air missiles have been launched towards Israel Air Force jets during missions for its “war-between-wars” campaign targeting Iranian infrastructure in the war-torn country.
Israel has been carrying out its war-between-wars campaign against Iran since 2013, striking thousands of targets in Syria, and according to foreign reports in neighboring Iraq, in order to prevent the smuggling of advanced weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon and the entrenchment of its forces in Syria where they could easily act against Israel.
The strikes over the past year have been targeting Iranian infrastructure and its presence on the ground, in order to prevent Iran from embedding itself in Syria and compromising Israel’s freedom of operation.

Tzvi Joffre, Anna Ahronheim and Reuters contributed to this report.