Israeli missile strikes kill 15 in central Syria’s Damascus, reports watchdog
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Israeli missile strikes hit a residential neighborhood in the central Syrian capital Damascus and resulted in the killing of 15 people, including civilians, on early Sunday, according to a war monitor.
Targeting “ sites belonging to Iranian and Lebanese militias, Hezbollah,” the Israeli missile strike destroyed a building in the Kafr Sousa neighborhood that houses the country’s intelligence agencies and an Iranian cultural center, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Syrian state news agency, SANA, confirmed the deadly strike which took place at 00:22 AM local time, adding, per the preliminary death toll, five people were killed while 15 others were wounded.
The missiles were launched from Golan Heights and targeted a number of positions within Damascus and its vicinity, according to the state media, without elaborating on the nature of the sites.
Israel, which rarely claims responsibility for its attacks on the suspected positions belonging to Iran and other Shiite militias, has not immediately acknowledged the strike.
The lower floors and windows of a 10-story building were seriously damaged by the attack, per the images shared by SANA.
The Syrian air defense "intercepted most of the missiles," the state media reported.
“The strike on Sunday is the deadliest Israeli attack in the Syrian capital,” Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the watchdog, which relies on a significant network of sources within the country, said, following the attack.
This is the second attack allegedly carried out by Israel on suspected Iranian and Lebanese militias’ positions this year. An earlier strike in January killed seven others in an attack on Damascus International Airport and its vicinity.
Engaged in an indirect confrontation with Iran, Israel regularly says that it would not tolerate the extension of Iranian hegemony to its borders. For about a decade, Israel is blamed by the Syrian authorities for frequent air and missile strikes on the country.
Iran and Hezbollah have been staunch supporters of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s rule since the eruption of the country’s civil war in 2011, which had so far killed half a million people and displaced millions of others.