Syria says Israeli airstrikes near Damascus kill 3 soldiers, injure 7

Israeli warplanes launched a series of airstrikes on areas near the Syrian capital Damascus shortly after midnight on Friday, killing three soldiers and wounding seven others, Syrian state media reported.

Loud explosions were heard both in the Syrian capital and in northern Israel, according to local reports.

State broadcaster SANA, citing a military source, said most of the missiles launched from the Golan Heights had been intercepted.

The Syrian military claims to shoot down incoming missiles after nearly every alleged Israeli strike, a claim that Israeli military officials and civil defense analysts largely dismiss as empty boasting.

The military source also said that damage had been caused to the sites affected, without giving details on the extent or nature of the targets.

A site in Sayyidah Zaynab, in the southern suburbs of Damascus, was damaged, according to local media and images posted on social media.

SANA reported the victims of the air strikes without specifying the ranks and the identity of the killed and wounded.

There was no comment from the Israel Defense Forces, which does not comment on individual strikes except those in retaliation for specific attacks on Israel.

Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria over the past decade, mostly to thwart attempts by Iranian forces to transfer weapons to the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah or gain a foothold on Israel’s northern border.

Israeli strikes have continued in Syrian airspace, largely controlled by Russia, even as ties with Moscow have soured in recent weeks.

Israel has found itself at odds with Russia as it increasingly backs Ukraine, while seeking to maintain freedom of movement in Syrian skies.

The last strike in Syria attributed to Israel was on July 6, when a Syrian soldier was reportedly killed in an Israeli drone strike near the border with Israel.

Prior to that, on July 2, Israel reportedly attacked a site in the town of al-Hamidiyah, south of Tartous, near the border with Lebanon.

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