BEIRUT: A Syrian war monitoring group said on Monday that an Israeli missile strike overnight near the capital of Damascus killed at least three foreigners, who were most likely Iranians.

The top Syrian diplomat accused Israel of carrying out missile “aggression” on Damascus and its suburbs. There was no immediate comment from Israel.

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem spoke in Moscow during a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, according to Syria’s state news agency SANA. He did not provide further details.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitoring group that has activists around the country, said the Israeli strikes killed three non-Syrians, adding that they were most likely Iranians. It said there were wounded in the attack that struck an area south of Damascus. Shortly before midnight on Sunday, Syrian air defences engaged against the missiles fired from inside Israel, the Syrian state media said.

Damascus resident said explosions could be heard near the capital. State TV said one of the Israeli missiles was shot down near the suburb of Aqraba.

Last month, Israel said it struck dozens of Iranian targets in Syria in a wide-scale operation in response to rocket fire on the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights the day before. Israel has repeatedly struck Iran-linked targets in Syria in recent years and has warned against any permanent Iranian presence on the frontier.

Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2019

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