Israeli missile strike kills soldiers near Damascus

Four Syrian soldiers were killed on Wednesday, according to the Syrian Ministry of Defense. A war monitor said it had attacked the arsenal in a missile attack near Damascus, Israel.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the high death toll of five Syrian troops and four soldiers of other nationalities, adding that the strike struck at least five different locations outside the capital.

The monitor provided no further details, and Reuters could not immediately confirm the report.

An Israeli military spokesman declined to comment.

The Syrian ministry said in a Facebook post that the strike caused serious damage.

The Syrian state news agency said the missiles were launched from the town of Tiberias in northeastern Israel, most of them shot down by Syrian air defense.

Syrian troops have relied on support from Iranian and Russian allies’ fighters and paramilitary organizations in Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan to regain the territory lost since the start of the civil war in 2011.

Israel regularly targets what is described as Iran-linked targets in Syria and sees them as an expansion of Tehran’s influence.

According to state media, the April 14 strike struck the outskirts of Damascus, with no casualties.

The parent government commander did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether an Israeli strike targeted his position or killed one of his fighters early Wednesday.

Maya Gebailey, Yasmine Hussein, Enas Arashley