Syria reports soldier deaths in Israeli strike near Damascus
Syrian state media reported four soldiers were killed in a missile strike outside Damascus. A Syrian war monitor said the strikes targeted weapons stores and Iran-backed militias
An Israeli missile strike near Damascus early Monday morning killed four soldiers and caused unspecified "material damage," Syria's state news agency SANA reported citing an unnamed military source.
According to the report, some of the missiles were intercepted and shot down by Syrian air defenses.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor linked with Syria's opposition, said the strikes Monday targeted weapons and munitions warehouses and positions of Iran-backed militias around Damascus, the Associated Press reported.
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Several strikes already this year
Israel has previously targeted what it describes as Iran-linked forces, along with Hezbollah fighters and Syrian army positions. The strikes are often reported hitting ports and airports.
While Israel usually refrains from commenting on air strikes in Syria , it has repeatedly said that it will not allow Iran to expand its footprint in Syria.
Iran's influence in Syria has grown since Tehran began supporting Syrian leader Bashar Assad in a civil war that started in 2011.
Syria has reported several Israeli missile strikes this year.
A missile attack on July 19 near Damascus killed three pro-government fighters and wounded four others, according to SANA.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry had condemned the attack "in the strongest terms" and called on the UN to "take immediate action."
Earlier in July, Israel carried out strikes near the government-held city of Homs.
On June 14, missiles landed near Damascus and wounded a soldier, reported SANA.
Both Aleppo and Damascus airports have previously been put out of service due to Israeli strikes.