5 pro-Iranian fighters said killed in alleged Israeli attack near Damascus

An Israeli missile attack killed five pro-Iranian militiamen near Damascus on Saturday, a war monitor said, while state media said two Syrian soldiers were wounded in the attack.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack “destroyed a convoy of Hezbollah and Iranian weapons and ammunition” on its way to Lebanon.

At least five pro-Iranian fighters were killed and several wounded, the war monitor said.

The report could not be verified independently. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition group with unclear funding, has at times been accused of increasing the number of victims.

Former state news agency SANA, quoting a military source, said two Syrian soldiers were wounded after explosions were heard in the Syrian capital.

“The Israeli enemy fired a barrage of ground-to-ground missiles from northern occupied Palestine with targeted positions near Damascus,” SANA said.

“Our anti-aircraft defense was activated and was able to hit some of the enemy’s missiles,” the source said, adding that the attack wounded two soldiers and caused damage.

AFP correspondents in Damascus heard several explosions around noon.

Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Israel has routinely carried out airstrikes inside Syria, mostly targeting Iran-backed terrorist groups, in addition to Syrian government troops.

It is rare for the Jewish state to carry out attacks on Syrian targets during the day.

The Israeli military rarely acknowledges individual attacks, but has repeatedly said it will not allow Syria to become Iran’s stronghold.

On October 14, an Israeli air strike on Iranian positions in central Syria killed nine fighters allied with the Syrian government.

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