Israeli airstrikes hit targets south of the Syrian capital of Damascus on Monday, killing and injuring a number of people, Syria’s SANA news agency reported.
Both Syria and Iran denied reports that said the strikes killed Iranian nationals or Iranian military advisors. Just over a week ago, Israeli airstrikes on a residential building in Damascus killed five members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
“In today’s attack of the Zionist regime fighter jets on Damascus, no Iranian advisory center in Syria was targeted,” Iran’s ambassador to Syria, Hossein Akbari, said of the Monday strikes. “None of the Iranian nationals or military advisers have been martyred.”
Iran’s PressTV reported that at least two civilians were killed by the Israeli airstrikes. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said seven people were killed, including one Syrian who was described as an “escort” for a member of the IRGC. But the reports are not confirmed.
Israel has bombed Syria with impunity for years and has significantly stepped up its strikes on the country since October 7. The strikes are part of what appears to be a strategy by Israel to provoke a wider war in the region that would get the US directly involved.
US officials speaking anonymously to the media have said they fear Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might view a major war in Lebanon as key to his political survival. A larger war would also put less scrutiny on the Israeli massacre in Gaza.