Several killed in Israeli raids on Damascus in Syria report

Several killed in Israeli raids on Damascus in Syria: report

Syrian media say Israel fired rockets at the Kafr Sousa neighborhood in Damascus, killing five and wounding 15.

According to officials and media reports, Israeli rocket attacks on the Syrian capital Damascus killed five people and damaged several residential buildings.

The raids early Sunday hit a building in the Kafr Sousa district of central Damascus near a large, heavily guarded security complex near Iranian facilities, Portal news agency said, citing witnesses.

Syrian news agency SANA, citing a military source, said Israel carried out the raids on several areas in the capital just after midnight, leaving five dead and 15 injured among civilians and damaging several residential buildings.

“It caused damage to several civilian houses and material damage in a number of neighborhoods in and around Damascus,” the army said in a statement.

Footage released by state media showed a 10-story building was badly damaged in the attack, with the structure of the lower floors destroyed.

“Sunday’s strike is the deadliest Israeli attack in the Syrian capital,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group that has a wide network of sources inside Syria.

It was initially unclear whether the raid was aimed at a specific person.

The top commander of pro-Iranian Hezbollah, Imad Mughniyeh, was killed in a 2008 bomb attack in Kafr Sousa, a heavily patrolled area that residents say is home to several Iranian security agencies, including a major cultural center.

A spokesman for the Israeli military declined to comment.

The attack comes more than a month after an Israeli missile attack hit Damascus International Airport, killing four people, including two soldiers.

For nearly a decade, Israel has conducted airstrikes against suspected Iranian-sponsored arms transfers and personnel deployments in neighboring Syria. Israeli officials have rarely acknowledged responsibility for specific operations.

The raids – which have targeted Syrian airports and air bases in recent months – are part of an escalation in a low-intensity conflict aimed at slowing Iran’s growing entrenchment in Syria, Israeli military experts say.

Iran has increased its military presence in Syria in recent years, gaining a foothold in most state-controlled areas, with thousands of members of militias and local paramilitary groups under its command, Western intelligence sources say.

Iran’s proxy militias, led by Lebanon’s Hezbollah, now control vast areas of eastern, southern and northwestern Syria and several suburbs around the capital.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government has never publicly admitted that Iranian forces are operating on its behalf in Syria’s civil war, saying Tehran only has military advisers on the ground.