Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Israel launched an air raid on a Syrian army post south of the capital, Damascus, reports Syria’s official state agency Sana this morning. Damascus’ air defence system intercepted and shot down two Israeli missiles in the area. The attack, launched almost simultaneously with the speech by US President Donald Trump who cancelled the nuclear agreement with Iran, caused two civilian casualties.
The two people who died while traveling on the highway that connects Damascus to Deraa in an explosion linked to “Israeli aggression”.
However, for the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights [an NGO based in the United Kingdom with a network of informants on the territory] there were at least nine victims among the pro-government forces. These include fighters sent by Iran in support of Damascus, comprised of the Revolutionary Guards and other Shiite militias.
A senior army official loyal to President Bashar al-Assad states that the air strike hit an army post. In recent weeks, government soldiers are engaged in a massive offensive against rebel groups and jihadists on the outskirts of the capital.
Israel did not want to comment on the rumours of an attack on Syrian territory. But already in the past their army has carried out operations in Syrian territory, claiming them later or only after years. Recently, the Israeli government confirmed its goal of eliminating the Iranian presence in Syria.
Tehran has supported the government of Damascus in these seven years of war, allocating hundreds of military experts and thousands of men on the ground. The Islamic Republic has exploited the conflict to build a military base, used in collaboration with Syrian soldiers.
Meanwhile, the level of tension also rises on the Golan Heights: the Israeli army has instructed the local authorities to open the shelters and keep them ready for the population “for the irregular activities of the Iranian forces in Syria”. The Israeli military leaders have also confirmed the deployment of “defence systems” and that the troops are on “high alert for an attack”. Finally, the air force and intelligence services have announced the drafting of a small contingent of reservists.