Claimed image of an Israeli airstrike near Damascus, Syria, February 14, 2021

The Assad regime says four of its soldiers were wounded in the latest airstrikes by Israel on targets near Syria’s capital Damascus.

State news agency SANA did not identify the targets but said there were “some material losses”. It issued the standard declaration that most of the Israeli missiles were downed by anti-aircraft fire.

Following standard practice, the Israel Defense Forces made no comment.

The strikes were the first on Iranian and Assad regime positions inside Syria since March 16<. Howevr, last week drones reportedly bombed a shipment of advanced weapons transported from Iraq into eastern Syria by Iran-backed forces.

Throughout Syria’s 121-month conflict, Israel has regularly struck regime and Iranian positions, targeting links with Lebanon’s Hezbollah and pressuring Iran to withdraw its forces and foreign militias.

The attacks have escalated since last April. Targets have included the regime’s chief conventional and chemical weapons complex, the Scientific Studies Research Center; Damascus International Airport; Iranian personnel and weapons on bases near the capital and in central Syria; and Assad regime posts in southwest Syria near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.