Wed, 21 Apr 2021

Syrian Army Says Israel Attacks Areas Around Southern Damascus

Voice of America
01 Mar 2021, 09:05 GMT+10

CAIRO/AMMAN - The Syrian army said Israel conducted a rocket attack Sunday evening on targets in the vicinity of Damascus.

A Syrian army statement said the attack came from the Golan Heights and that it downed most of the missiles.

An Israeli military spokesman declined to comment.

In a briefing to supporters of his party on Friday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel was taking action "almost weekly" to prevent Iranian entrenchment in Syria.

Regional intelligence sources say Iran's Quds Force and the militias it backs have spread in Syria in recent years, including a strong presence in a string of underground bases in the southern outskirts of Damascus.

In recent years, Israel has regularly attacked what it says are Iranian-linked targets in Syria and stepped up such strikes this year in what Western intelligence sources describe as a shadow war to reduce Iran's influence.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government has never publicly acknowledged there are Iranian forces operating on his behalf in Syria's civil war, only that Tehran has sent military advisers.

Western intelligence sources say Israeli strikes this year have undermined Iran's extensive military power in Syria without triggering a major increase in hostilities.

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