As many as 12 pro-Iran fighters were killed on Thursday during the pre-dawn Israeli missile strikes on areas in southern Syria, a war monitor reported.
The fresh Israeli missile strike targeted the western countryside of the capital Damascus, as well as the countryside of Daraa province, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The watchdog group said the 12 Iranian-backed fighters were killed in the strikes on the Brigade-91 and Brigade-75 southwest of Damascus as well as a military air base in Daraa.
The shelling also targeted air defense batteries and weapon depots, destroying many of them, according to the Observatory.
State news agency SANA cited a military statement as saying that the Israelis carried out two waves of attacks in the early hours, targeting the aforementioned areas.
It said the Syrian air defense missiles intercepted a number of the Israeli missiles, adding that eight soldiers were wounded.
The military statement said the Israeli “aggressive escalation” will not be able to salvage the “terror groups” that are collapsing in Idlib and Aleppo countryside.
The strikes further highlight the sprawling tensions between Israel and Iran in Syria. Clashes between the two countries have escalated over the past months. Israel accuses Iran of entrenching itself near the Israeli border.
Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria against Iranian targets and convoys transporting weapons to Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Lebanese militia.
In 2019 alone, more than 17 Israeli attacks took place against targets in Syria.
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