BEIRUT: Israeli missile strikes hit military positions used by pro-Iran groups near the Syrian capital Damascus overnight, a war monitor said Friday.
The strikes on the suburbs of Barzeh and Jamraya “targeted Syrian regime military positions that are used by pro-Iran groups” to store and develop weapons, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Observatory, which is based in Britain and relies on a network of sources inside Syria for its reports, said it could not immediately confirm if there were any casualties.
The official SANA news agency said Syrian air defenses shot down most of the missiles.
“The Syrian army’s air defenses intercepted after midnight an Israeli missile attack in the vicinity of Damascus,” SANA said, adding the attack only caused material damage.
It published pictures and video footage appearing to show air defenses responding to the attack.
AFP reporters heard loud explosions in the Syrian capital.
Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Israel has routinely carried out raids in Syria, mostly targeting Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces as well as Syrian government troops.
The Israeli army rarely acknowledges its strikes but it often says it will not allow Syria to become a stronghold of its arch-foe Iran.
Late last month, Israeli strikes near Damascus killed four pro-Iran militia fighters.