Syrian media report Israeli attack near capital Damascus; 9 killed

This photo released on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows flames rising after an attack in an area known to have numerous Syrian army military bases, in Kisweh, south of Damascus, Syria. (SANA via AP)
Updated 09 May 2018
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Syrian media report Israeli attack near capital Damascus; 9 killed

  • An official with the Iran-led axis of resistance said the strike targeted a Syrian army position and caused only material damage.
  • The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the missiles targeted depots and rocket launchers that likely belonged to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards in Kisweh, killing nine people.

BEIRUT: Syrian state-run media and a monitor said Israel struck a military outpost near the capital Damascus on Tuesday, and that Syrian air defenses shot down two missiles.
Tuesday night’s attack occurred in the countryside in Kisweh, just south of Damascus, the official news agency SANA said. The area is known to have numerous Syrian army bases. 
It took place about an hour after President Donald Trump announced he was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, calling Tehran a main exporter of terrorism in the region.
Syrian TV earlier reported large explosions in the area.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the missiles targeted depots and rocket launchers that likely belonged to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards in Kisweh, killing nine people. The group, which closely monitors the Syria war through a network of activists on the ground, said it was not clear whether those killed were Revolutionary Guard members or members of a pro-Iranian militia. The report could not be independently confirmed.
An official with the Iran-led regional alliance supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad said the strike targeted a Syrian army position but killed a Syrian man and his wife who happened to be passing by in their car. He said there were jets in the sky but it was likely the position was targeted by surface-to-surface missiles from the Golan Heights.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give official statements.
There was no immediate comment from Israel, which almost never confirms or denies airstrikes in Syria. Such strikes have become more frequent recently, amid soaring tensions between regional archenemies Israel and Iran.
Iran has vowed to retaliate to recent Israeli strikes in Syria targeting Iranian outposts in the country. They include an attack last month on Syria’s T4 air base in Homs province that killed seven Iranian military personnel, for which Tehran has vowed to retaliate. On April 30, Israel was said to have struck government outposts in northern Syria, killing more than a dozen pro-government fighters, many of them Iranians.
Israel’s military, however, said Tuesday its forces were on high alert near its border with Syria after spotting Iranian activity and was urging civilians in the Golan Heights near Syria to prepare bomb shelters.
Later, the Israeli military said in a statement it had called up some reservists but did not elaborate.
The military directive Tuesday came “following the identification of irregular activity of Iranian forces in Syria.” It said defense systems have been deployed.
The military said it is prepared for “various scenarios” and warned “any aggression against Israel will be met with a severe response.”
Israel has warned it will not tolerate Tehran establishing itself militarily on its doorstep in Syria.

(With The Associated Press)


Iranian official in surprise visit to Lebanon

Updated 18 July 2019
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Iranian official in surprise visit to Lebanon

  • Some of the threats made by the Zionist enemy are not in favor of the region’s security, Abdollahian says

BEIRUT: “Lebanon must be kept out of all regional crises,” said Iran’s Shoura Council assistant speaker for international affairs, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, during a surprise visit to Beirut on Wednesday.

“We say at the top of our voice that Iran and its allies will not allow the Zionist entity and the US to damage the region’s security.”

Following his meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Abdollahian said that Tehran “is convinced that the security of Lebanon is the security of the region and the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Abdollahian added that “some of the threats made by the Zionist enemy are not in favor of the region’s security.”

He described his talks with Berri as “good and constructive.”

“We will not allow Israel, US to interfere with regional security.”

Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Iran’s Shoura Council official

Abdollahian said: “We have come today to reaffirm that Iran fully supports the people, army, resistance and government of Lebanon, and we look forward to developing relations between our two countries until they reach the highest levels.”

He said he believes that the statements of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are for “domestic consumption,” accusing him of “making some moves in the region that are not in his favor.”

Netanyahu responded to a message from Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday by threatening Hezbollah during Israel’s Cabinet meeting.

Netanyahu said: “Let me be clear that if Hezbollah dares to commit an act of stupidity and attack Israel, we will deal a crushing military blow on Lebanon. But unlike Nasrallah, I do not intend to detail our plans. It would be enough to recall that, for years, Nasrallah dug terror tunnels, and we demolished them within a few days.”