Israel’s missile strikes near Damascus, Syria, July 1, 2019
Israel has struck a base for Iran-supported militias in southwest Syria, according to multiple reports.
Syrian State media acknowledged the strikes just after midnight on Wednesday, making the usual claim that several missiles were shot down on al-Harra hill, close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
The outlets said there was material damage but no casualties.
The area hosts several regime posts, while Western intelligence sources says the militias, developed by Iran since 2012 to prop up a depleted Assad regime army, have also been moved there.
The Israel Defense Forces, following their protocols, refused to comment on the strikes.
Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes against Assad regime, Iranian, and Hezbollah targets during Syria’s eight-year conflict. The attacks initially focused on Iranian transfers of weapons and missiles to Hezbollah and on the movement of Iranian and Hezbollah personnel to southwest Syria near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. In the past 18 months, with Netanyahu demanding Iranian military withdrawal from Syria, Israel expanded the raids to targets Assad regime bases with Iranian personnel throughout the country.
The attacks were paused after a Russian surveillance plane was downed in September by an Assad regime air defense missile during Israeli strikes on western Syria. However, they resumed in December.
In the latest strikes on July 1, the Israelis struck at least 10 targets near Damascus, including the 91st Brigade base with Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the warehouses and ammunition depots of the regime’s Mezzeh base south of the capital, and a branch of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center — which specializes in chemical weapons development — in Jamraya, 10 km (7 miles) northwest of Damascus.
In attacks earlier this year, Israel has targeted the al-Kisweh base near Damascus with Iranian forces; a complex near Maysaf in Hama Province, connected to the regime’s chemical weapons program and reportedly with an Iranian presence’ another base near Aleppo; warehouses at Damascus International Airport, and other Iranian targets across southern Syria.