Israel kills 11 in airstrikes on Syria, including civilian, Assad troops, Iran-backed fighters
An Israeli Air Force F-35 Lightning II fighter plane performs at an air show during the graduation of new cadet pilots at Hatzerim base in the Negev desert, near the southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva, June 29, 2017. (AFP Photo)
Israeli strikes on Syria killed one civilian, three Assad regime troops and seven allied foreign fighters, a war monitor said on Tuesday in a new toll.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which had previously put the toll from Monday’s strikes at five, said Iran-backed paramilitary fighters were among those killed in the attack.
The Britain-based monitor said the strikes hit Assad regime’s army positions south of Damascus as well as positions belonging to Iran-backed paramilitaries, including fighters of the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, in the southern province of Daraa.
The Observatory said it could not confirm if Hezbollah fighters were among those killed.
Late on Monday, the Assad regime’s news agency SANA reported that “the Zionist enemy carried out a strike… on some of our military positions south of Damascus and our air defenses confronted them.”
“The Israeli attack led to two martyrs being killed and seven soldiers being wounded,” the source said, adding the fire had come from the direction of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
It later said that one civilian was also killed in the attack.
Israel has carried out hundreds of raids in Syria since the civil war broke out in 2011, targeting Iranian and Hezbollah forces as well as Assad regime troops.
The Israeli army rarely acknowledges individual strikes but said that on Aug. 3 it had used fighter jets, attack helicopters and other warplanes to hit Syrian military targets in southern Syria.
Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah warned on Sunday that the group would kill an Israeli soldier for each of its fighters slain by the Jewish state, after one of its combatants was killed in an Israeli strike in Syria on July 20.