Early on July 22, five service members of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) were killed and several others were wounded when a wave of Israeli airstrikes hit the outskirts of the Syrian capital, Damascus.
In a statement to the Syrian Arab News Agency, an official in the SAA said that Israeli fighter jets launched the airstrikes from the airspace of the occupied Golan Heights. According to unnamed official, most of the missiles fired by the fighter jets were intercepted by Syrian air defenses.
The casualties were identified as Mohammed Abbas, Mustafa al-Qattan, Hossam al-Mohsen, Abbas Musa and Haider Haider. Some of them were reportedly air defense officers.
One of the targets of the Israeli airstrikes was a complex located in the Shiite town of Set Zaynab in the southern outskirts of Damascus, where Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are known to be active.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and other pro-opposition news sources made all sorts of claims about the targets of the Israeli airstrikes, from IRGC ammunition depots to drone and missile workshops. Some sources even claimed that the offices of senior Syrian military and intelligence officers were among the targets. These conflicted claims are likely just a propaganda stunt meant to justify the Israeli attack.
This was the second confirmed Israeli attack on Syria this month. On July 6, an Israeli drone strike hit the outskirts of the town of Hadar in the southern governorate of al-Quneitra. The strike killed a pro-government fighter.
Israel stepped up its attacks on Syria this year in a new bid to prevent Iran from establishing a lasting military presence in the war-torn country, as well as to stop Iranian weapons shipments to Hezbollah. None of these objectives have been achieved yet.
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