Three civilians were killed and three others injured in an Israeli missile attack near the Syrian capital Damascus, early on April 27, Monday. The missiles were fired by the Israeli air force across the southern Lebanon territory, Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.
According to Israeli newspapers, Haretz and Times of Israel, seven people were killed in the attack.
There is reportedly one child among the injured. The attack caused considerable damage to civilian houses in the towns of al-Hujaira and Adliya which are near the Syrian air force base.
According to SANA, the Syrian air defense intercepted and destroyed a large number of missiles.
Israel has continued its aggressive regional policy despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The Benjamin Netanyahu-led coalition in Israel has not only continued its offensive in the occupied Palestinian territories but has also expressed intent to annex parts of West Bank. Its Syrian offensive is a part of plans to consolidate hawkish sections within the country. Monday’s strike was the third such attack in the past 10 days. Last week, Israel launched attacks on an area near Haman.
Syria has 43 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with three deaths reported as of April 27.
Though Israel has not claimed the attacks, defense minister Naftali Bennet said in a radio broadcast on Sunday that Israel has “gone from policy of blocking Iran to pushing it out” of Syria.
Israel claims that Iranian forces are using Syrian territory to attack it. Syria and Iran have denied these allegations and instead claimed that the Israeli attacks are used to provide cover to anti-Syrian forces, prolonging the war in the country.
Israeli officials have in the past admitted to carrying out thousands of such missile attacks in Syria since 2011, killing hundreds.
Meanwhile, Turkish forces have killed three members of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in Aleppo province, the last rebel base in war-ravaged Syria. HTS, which has been fighting the Syrian government, is an ex-affiliate of al-Qaeda and is also supported by Turkey. It has opposed the Russia-Turkey ceasefire signed on March 5 to halt the Syrian offensive to retake control over Aleppo. In accordance with the deal, Russia and Turkey are jointly patrolling the M4 highway in Syria.
The war in Syria, which started in 2011, has entered its ninth year. The fighting between foreign-backed rebels and the Syrian government forces has killed hundreds of thousands of people and caused one of the largest displacements in human history with almost half of the population living in refugee camps all across the world. The largest number of Syrian refugees, almost 3.75 million, are in Turkey.