5 people died in Damascus as a result of Israeli airstrikes

DAMASCUS — Early on Sunday morning, the Israeli air force struck a residential area of ​​Damascus, the capital of Syria, killing at least 5 people and injuring 15, the Syrian state media reported.

Loud explosions were heard in the central area of ​​the capital around 12:30 local time, and SANA said Syrian air defenses were “engaging with hostile targets in the skies over Damascus.”

The Syrian state news agency SANA, citing a military source, reports that five people, including one soldier, were killed, 15 civilians were injured, and “a number of residential buildings were destroyed.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said 15 people, including a woman, were killed in strikes targeting sites linked to Iranian militias and the Lebanese Hezbollah group. They took place in the villages of Damascus and in an Iranian school in the neighborhood of Kafr Sosa of the capital, according to the report.

There was no immediate statement from Israel about the attack.

The Israeli Air Force frequently strikes targets near Damascus. Saturday night’s strikes were the first since a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria on February 6.

The latest attack on Damascus came on January 2, when the Syrian army said Israeli forces fired rockets at the Syrian capital’s international airport early Monday morning, knocking it out of service and killing two soldiers and wounding two others.

Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes against targets in government-held areas of Syria in recent years, but has rarely acknowledged or discussed the actions.

Israel, however, has admitted targeting strongholds of Iran-allied militants such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

The Israeli strikes come amid a wider shadow war between Israel and Iran. The attacks on Damascus and Aleppo airports were prompted by fears that they were being used to transport Iranian weapons into the country.

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