Syria says Israeli airstrike kills 3 soldiers, wounds many

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The Syrian army said in a statement that three soldiers were killed and three others wounded in an Israeli missile strike in western and central Syria late Sunday.

The Syrian army said Israeli forces had targeted several positions in the coastal province of Tartus and on the outskirts of the capital Damascus. The missiles were fired by warplanes flying over neighboring Lebanon, the military said, adding that they also caused material damage.

The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the Israeli attack targeted a Syrian army air defense base in the Abu Afsa area. It added that Iranian-backed fighters are usually at the base.

Israel has carried out hundreds of attacks on targets in Syrian government-controlled areas over the past few years, but few such actions have been acknowledged or discussed.

Israel, however, has admitted that it targets the bases of Iran-aligned militant groups, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to fight alongside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

In June, Israeli airstrikes temporarily disabled Damascus International Airport.

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