On Saturday, Israeli airstrikes targeting the main Syrian city of Damascus killed at least three people and wounded a large number of others, according to reports from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) based in London. The non-governmental association has a network of information sources in Syria and stated that the neighborhood that houses mansions of members of the army and high-ranking officials was attacked.
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 like Hezbollah are present in this area.
Israel has been carrying out hundreds of attacks against militant groups backed by Iran since 2011 when Syria’s civil war began. However, Israel has stepped up its attacks on these groups since October when Israel went to war with Hamas. Iran is an ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and a key sponsor of Lebanon’s Hezbollah. According to Israel’s military spokesman Lt.-Col. Avichai Adarion, “We will not allow Iran to strengthen its presence in Syria,” he said Monday in Jerusalem after confirming Saturday’s attacks.