Israeli airstrikes kill two civilians in Syria’s government-held areas

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Two Syrian civilians were killed in an Israeli airstrike Tuesday, state media reported, the fourth such attack on government-held areas of the war-torn country in less than a week.

“At 00:15 (2115 GMT Monday) the Israeli enemy carried out an airstrike... and the attack resulted in the death of two civilians,” state news agency SANA said, quoting a military source.

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The strike came from the direction of “the occupied Syrian Golan, targeting some points in the vicinity of Damascus and the southern region”, it said, adding that air defense intercepted “most of” the missiles.

During more than a decade of civil war in Syria, Israel has launched hundreds of airstrikes on Syrian territory, primarily targeting Iran-backed forces and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters as well as Syrian army positions.

SANA had earlier reported “an explosion heard in the vicinity of Damascus.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor gave the same civilian death toll, with its director Rami Abdel Rahman adding that “an unknown number of Iran-backed fighters were also killed” in the strike.

Israel fired “barrages of missiles targeting military areas controlled by Iran-backed groups and regime air defense,” said the Britain-based monitor with a wide range of sources inside Syria.

An Israeli missile targeted a radar in the countryside of Sweida, while another hit a glass factory in the al-Kiswah area of the Damascus countryside, killing the two civilians, it said.

The monitor had earlier said the missiles also targeted the vicinity of Damascus International Airport and an Iranian complex near the Sayyida Zeinab area, with Syria’s air defense intercepting at least two missiles.

On Sunday, two Iran-affiliated fighters were killed in an Israeli airstrike on targets in Syria, according to the monitor, with SANA reporting five Syrian soldiers wounded.

Israel struck early Sunday near the western city of Homs, after striking the Syrian capital Thursday and early Friday.

A rare car bombing also rocked Damascus on Sunday, with no deaths reported and no side claiming responsibility.

While Israel rarely comments on the strikes it carries out on Syria, it has repeatedly said it will not allow its arch-foe Iran to extend its footprint in the war-torn country.

The Syrian war broke out in 2011 with the brutal repression of peaceful anti-government protests, and escalated into a deadly armed conflict that pulled in foreign powers and global extremists.

More than half a million people have been killed and around half of Syria’s pre-war population has been forced from their homes.

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