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Two Hezbollah fighters among four killed in Israeli strikes in Syria: War monitor

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Israeli strikes overnight near Damascus killed two Hezbollah fighters and two Syrians working with the Lebanese group, a war monitor said Monday, the latest such attack as Israel battles Hamas militants in Gaza.

Two Hezbollah sites in the Sayyida Zeinab district south of the capital and “a radar battalion” near the airport were targeted late Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

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“Two Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and two Syrian guards” working at one of the Iran-backed movement’s sites were killed, while three other fighters and three civilians were wounded, added the Britain-based Observatory, which relies on a network of sources inside Syria.

Hezbollah issued statements on Monday announcing the death of two of its fighters, without specifying where or when it happened.

But a source close to Hezbollah, requesting anonymity, told AFP the pair were killed in Syria.

Israel has launched hundreds of air strikes on its northern neighbor since Syria’s civil war began in 2011, primarily targeting Iran-backed forces including Hezbollah fighters, as well as Syrian army positions.

But it has intensified attacks since the Israel-Hamas war started on October 7.

Hezbollah for years has been fighting on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his country’s war, and is an ally of Palestinian group Hamas.

Earlier the Syrian state news agency SANA, citing a military source, reported that Israel launched an air assault at around 2005 GMT targeting “various points on the outskirts of Damascus.”

“Our anti-aircraft defenses shot down some missiles while others caused limited material damage,” it said.

An AFP correspondent reported strong explosions in the Damascus suburbs.

Israel rarely comments on individual strikes targeting Syria, but it has repeatedly said it will not allow arch-foe Iran, which backs Assad, to expand its presence there.

The Israeli army declined to comment on the SANA report, but said separately that shots had been fired from Lebanon towards northern Israel on Sunday evening.

“The army retaliated by targeting the source of the fire. Earlier in the day, we had struck a Hezbollah terrorist cell,” it said in a statement.

Israel’s army chief Herzi Halevi visited his forces near the northern border with Lebanon on Sunday, where he spoke of the need “to kill Hezbollah operatives, to demonstrate our superiority.”

“It can also come in the form of a strike and war,” he said.

Lebanon’s National News Agency reported Israeli shelling and strikes at various points along the southern border with Israel on Sunday.

Three Hezbollah fighters and a Syrian were killed on Friday in an Israeli drone strike on their car in southern Syria, the Observatory had said.

Damascus’s international airport is currently out of service after successive Israeli strikes targeted the facility.

With AFP

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