Nine fighters, including five Syrian soldiers, died in Israeli night strikes near the capital Damascus, the deadliest this year, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH) announced on Wednesday.

According to this NGO, Israel targeted in particular an ammunition depot and several military positions linked to Iran, which militarily helps the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.

A sworn enemy of Iran, the Jewish state does not want to see Tehran extend its influence in Syria.

Members of pro-Iranian militias killed

Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the OSDH, said the four others killed were members of pro-Iranian militias.

The nationality of these victims could not be immediately verified.

In addition, eight people were injured after these strikes on five different sites, added the OSDH, an organization based in the United Kingdom and having a large network of sources across Syria.

A Syrian military source confirmed to the official Sana news agency that four of the five soldiers were dead.

"The Israeli enemy carried out an aerial assault at dawn firing several missiles from Tiberias targeting several positions around Damascus," the military source said.

"Our anti-aircraft defense intercepted several missiles and the investigation indicated that four soldiers were killed," the source told Sana.

The strikes follow a similar Israeli attack on April 14 near the capital, which caused no casualties, according to Sana.

Thirty strikes in 2021

The Jewish state rarely comments on each of its strikes against Syria but admits having organized hundreds since 2011, targeting positions of the Syrian army, Iranian forces and pro-Iranian Lebanese Hezbollah.

In early March, an Israeli strike in the suburbs of Damascus killed two officers of the Revolutionary Guards, the ideological army of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The OSDH estimates that in 2021, around thirty Israeli strikes killed 125 fighters from government forces and five civilians.

With AFP

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