Some 60 pro-Iranian militants have been killed in attacks targeting Iranian strongholds in Syria since May, many of which were alleged Israeli airstrikes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
Over 10 sites have been targeted throughout Syria since May, including warehouses and headquarters belonging to Iran and pro-Iranian militias.
The targets included Iranian sites in Quneitra, Daraa, Homs, Aleppo, Deir Ezzor, Hama and Damascus. A large number of ammunition and weapons depots were destroyed in the strikes.
Eight pro-Iranian militants of non-Syrian nationalities have died so far as a result of alleged Israeli airstrikes that targeted weapons warehouses in and near Damascus last week, according to SOHR.
One of those killed was a terrorist from the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist movement, whose death led to ongoing tensions along Israel's northern border. The death toll is expected to continue to rise due to a number of injured people, including some in serious condition, according to SOHR.
Syrian air defense systems were activated after Israeli aircraft launched missiles towards sites south of Damascus from over the Majdal Shams area of the Golan Heights, according to Syria's state news agency SANA.
Over the past several months, Israel has been accused of dozens of strikes. In June, a series of airstrikes were reported on almost a weekly basis.
SOHR attributed the strikes to Israeli airstrikes conducted with Russia's "blessing" and a shared goal of keeping Iran out of the oil-rich region of eastern Syria. Russia, Iran, the United States, and local groups including the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Assad regime and militias loyal to Iran, are all fighting over control of the area.
Russia is also working to gain more control in other areas as well, including As-Suwayda and Daraa in southern Syria and in Aleppo and Idlib in northern Syria.
Iran has meanwhile intensified recruitment operations among Syrian youth in southern and eastern Syria, with 11,700 militants recruited so far, while the other forces in the country focus on agreements and military operations elsewhere, according to SOHR.
SOHR stated that it expects that the repeated strikes will pressure Iran and pro-Iranian militias to submit to international demands, but added that due to changes in the demographic layout of the country, unrest will ensue in areas where Iranian militias are present, as Iran will not give up its influence in Syria easily.
The observatory stressed that while ending the Iranian presence in Syria has become both a regional and international demand, removing their presence will not end the conflict and conflict of interests between the competing forces in the area, but will instead increase the proxy wars taking place in Syria.