DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) - A Syrian military official said Israel fired surface and air missiles at targets in southern Syria late Wednesday, causing only material damage.
The official said the attacks prompted Syrian air defenses. The unnamed official said the Israeli attacks came in from over the Golan Heights but didn’t identify what the target was.
Residents in the capital Damascus reported hearing the sound of explosions. State media said the explosion sounds in Damascus were those of the Syrian air defenses responding to the incoming missiles in the south.
State media didn’t identify the targets either.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes targeted a military post for government troops and allied Iranian militias in rural Quneitra province in southern Syria on the edge of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The war monitor said the strikes caused loud explosions.
Israel rarely comments on such reports, but it has launched hundreds of strikes against Iran-linked military targets in Syria over the years.
Israel’s shadow war against Iran and its allies has escalated in recent months, with cyberattacks and exchanges of fire with militants in Syria and Lebanon.
Israelis are concerned that U.S. President Joe Biden will adopt a more conciliatory approach toward Iran. Biden has said he hopes to return the U.S. to Iran’s 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, to which Israel was staunchly opposed.
In January, Syrian media reported intense Israeli strikes in eastern Syria, believed to be among the most intense in nearly a decade.
A Syrian opposition war monitoring group reported at least 18 strikes in Deir el-Zour and along the border with Iraq, saying several arms depots were hit. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 57 people were killed, including 14 Syrian troops, and the rest were Iran-backed fighters including 16 Iraqis and 11 Afghans. Dozens were wounded.
The Observatory said it recorded 39 Israeli strikes inside Syria in 2020 that hit 135 targets, including military posts, warehouses or vehicles.
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