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Syrian state media reports deaths in Israeli missile strike

February 19, 2023

The overnight strike reportedly took place in a neighborhood in the Syrian capital, Damascus. There was no immediate comment from Israel.

Police officers stand on the rubble of a damaged building at the site of a rocket attack, in central Damascus' Kafr Sousa neighborhood, Syria
Israel has not yet commented on the alleged missile strikesImage: Firas Makdesi/REUTERS

Syrian state media agency SANA reported Sunday that five people, including a soldier, were killed and 15 others wounded in what it alleged was an Israeli missile strike in Damascus.  

The agency cited a military source as saying that the alleged attack took place shortly after midnight and that Israel "carried out air aggression with waves of missiles," which came from the direction of the Golan Heights.  

A number of civilian houses were destroyed and Syrian "air defenses intercepted the missiles and downed most of them," the military source was quoted as saying.  

There has been no immediate response from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), which The Times of Israel reports is "in line with its policy of not generally commenting on air raids" in Syria.  

The UK-based war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 15 people had been killed in strikes targeting sites in the Damascus neighborhood Kafr Sousa, which is linked to Iranian-backed militias and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Hezbollah is designated a terrorist organization by the US and several other countries, including Germany.  

The militant groups have been providing substantial military support to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad to help his regime in its fight against opposition groups.  

Israel has in the past carried out strikes on targets in government-controlled parts of Syria, particularly ports and airports, in an apparent attempt to prevent arms shipments from Iran reaching militant groups backed by Tehran.  

kb/nm (AP, AFP)