Syrian war monitor says Israeli strike near Palmyra kills 9

It said the dead included some fighters loyal to Lebanon's Hezbollah group

A boy rides a camel in the historical city of Palmyra, Syria, June 12, 2009. Satellite images have confirmed the destruction of the Temple of Bel, which was one of the best preserved Roman-era sites in the Syrian city of Palmyra, a United Nations agency said, after activists said the hardline Islamic State group had targeted it. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group and other activists said on August 30, 2015 that Islamic State had destroyed part of the more than 2,000-year-old temple, one of Palmyra's most important monuments. Picture taken June 12, 2009.  REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino
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An Israeli airstrike in central Syria killed nine fighters, including six who were not Syrians and some who were loyal to the militant Hezbollah group, an opposition war monitor said on Tuesday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights gave no nationalities for the foreigners who were killed on a military post in the desert near the historic central town of Palmyra. It said the dead included some fighters loyal to Lebanon's Hezbollah group.

Israel says it has been behind a series of airstrikes mainly targeting Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Syria that have joined the country's war fighting alongside the government. It rarely confirms the attacks and did not comment on Monday's airstrike.

Syrian state TV reported the country's air defenses shot down several missiles launched by Israeli warplanes Monday night. The station gave no further details about the attack, the latest of several to hit central Syria in the past three weeks.

The Observatory said late Monday the Israeli strikes targeted Iranian and Iran-backed fighters in the desert near Palmyra. It added that Israeli warplanes were also flying over neighboring Lebanon.

The strikes came hours after Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif was in the Syrian capital Damascus, where he met with Assad and his Syrian counterpart.

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