Israel strikes Hezbollah sites near Damascus, Syrian opposition says

Attacks wound two soldiers as Israeli operations against militants in the country increase

Members of the Israeli army's infantry 6th brigade in the Israel-annexed Golan Heights, on December 7, 2023. AFP
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Israeli aircraft have attacked two sites linked to Hezbollah near Damascus, two sources in the opposition to President Bashar Al Assad said on Monday.

One of the strikes on Sunday hit a building in the city of Dimas, the sources said. The city is between Damascus and the Lebanese border, a link in Iranian weapons transfers to Hezbollah.

The strikes were the latest attack on Iranian-linked targets in Syria amid intensified Israeli operations that began following the outbreak of the Gaza war.

Official Syrian media quoted an army official as saying two soldiers were wounded on Sunday in missile attacks by Israeli planes "on multiple locations on the outskirts of the capital".

The official said that air defences "repelled the missiles off the aggressor and downed a number of them."

Another attack hit a compound in the southern Damascus suburb of Saida Zaina, home to a Shiite shrine, the opposition sources said. The Lebanese militant group said one of the reasons it intervened in the Syrian civil war was to protect the site.

Hezbollah works with Tehran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to oversee an array of domestic and foreign militias in Syria.

They have posed an increased threat to Israeli forces in the occupied Golan Heights and to US forces in eastern Syria.

On December 9, pro-Hezbollah media reported three Hezbollah members were killed in an Israeli drone strike in Qunaitera, a governorate between Damascus and the Golan Heights.

Israel has increased its air raids on Iranian installations and supply lines in Syria since Hamas attacked southern Israel on October 7.

Since the Gaza war broke out, air strikes have hit the Damascus and Aleppo airports, as well as targets linked to Hezbollah.

Updated: December 19, 2023, 4:26 AM