On Saturday, Israeli airstrikes killed at least three people in the main Syrian city of Damascus, according to reports from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). The non-governmental association has a network of information sources in Syria and stated that a large number of people were wounded in the attack on the neighborhood that houses mansions of members of the army and high-ranking officials.
The Syrian state news agency, Sana, cited a military source who announced that “after midnight, the Israeli enemy carried out an air aggression targeting several targets in the vicinity of Damascus.” The air defense systems intercepted some rockets, while others caused material damage. SOHR also reports that on Friday, the area of the Mazza military airport, west of Damascus, was the target of an attack without specifying who was behind it. Militant groups such as Lebanese Shia pro-Iranian Hezbollah and other pro-Iranian armed groups are present in the area.
Israel has been carrying out hundreds of attacks against these groups since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011. The Israeli military has stepped up attacks on armed groups backed by Iran since last October’s war with Hamas began. Iran is an ally of Syria’s President’s government and a key sponsor of Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Israel claims it will not allow Iran’s presence to strengthen further in Syria.