Israel attacks Iranian stronghold in Syria - report

Last month the Syrian army said it had shot down a number of Israeli missiles targeting the location

Syrian air defence batteries responding to what the Syrian state media said were Israeli missiles targeting Damascus, in a picture taken early on January 21st, 2019 (photo credit: STR / AFP)
Syrian air defence batteries responding to what the Syrian state media said were Israeli missiles targeting Damascus, in a picture taken early on January 21st, 2019
(photo credit: STR / AFP)
Syrian state television said on Wednesday there were reports of an Israeli attack on a strategic area in southern Syria where Western intelligence sources previously said Iranian-backed militias are known to be based.
According to Ynet, explosions began around 12:40 a.m. near the Golan Heights. Then again at 1:00 a.m. two more explosions were heard. One in the Quneitra area and another in Tel al-Hara in the northwest of Daraa.
This area had long been an outpost for Russian forces but was later taken by Iranian-backed militias, according to Western intelligence sources.
Tel Haraa is a strategically located area in southern Deraa province overlooking the Israeli-held Golan Heights. It was for many years a major Russian military radar outpost until rebels took it over in 2014 before it was again recaptured by the Syrian army last year.
The zone has been a target of Israeli raids against Tehran-backed militias which have become entrenched in southern Syria and the Golan Heights near the border with Israel.
Last month the Syrian army said it had shot down a number of Israeli missiles targeting the location.
In recent years, Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria that it says have targeted its regional archrival, Iran, as well as Lebanon's Hezbollah, which it calls the biggest threat to its borders.