Israel strikes on Syria kill 23 fighters

Beirut: Israeli strikes on areas of Syria overnight killed 23 fighters, including five Syrian regime troops and 18 other allied forces, a monitor said on Thursday. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an officer was among the regime troops killed in the strikes and that the casualties included foreigners.

Israel’s army said it hit dozens of Iranian military targets in Syria, and targeted Syrian positions after rocket fire towards its forces in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights that it blamed on Iran. The strikes come after the Syrian Army on late Tuesday said it intercepted two Israeli missiles, while the Observatory said eight Iranians were among 15 foreign pro-regime fighters killed in attack.

A senior military pro-regime source in Syria confirmed the salvo of rockets, but insisted Israel fired first. The Russian defence ministry said 28 Israeli warplanes took part in the raids and at least 70 missiles were fired. Since the start of Syria’s civil war in 2011, Israel has repeatedly targeted positions of the Syrian Army. -Agencies


“Areas near Damascus and in the SW of Syria were among the targets. The strikes caused human losses in a number of the targeted areas. The death toll may rise,” the Observatory said.