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Israeli airstrikes kill 3 Syrian soldiers near Damascus

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DAMASCUS: Israeli airstrike killed three Syrian soldiers near the capital, Syrian media reported.

“The Israeli enemy carried out an air assault with several missiles,” Syrian media reported early on Thursday, adding three soldiers were killed.

It said the Syrian air defenses intercepted most of the missiles in the attack, which occurred about 1:10 am (23:10 GMT).

It was the fourth time this month that Israel reportedly launched strikes inside Syria, keeping up a campaign against pro-Iranian militias supporting Bashar al Assad’s regime in the more than a decade-old civil war.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which has an extensive network of sources across the country, reported that explosions were heard in Damascus and its suburbs “after the interception of Israeli missiles by the Syrian regime’s anti-aircraft defense.”

It follows strikes in recent days on a town near the occupied Golan Heights, a Syrian regime military post on February 17, and an assault against anti-aircraft batteries at the start of the month.

Since the civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes on Syria’s territory, targeting regime positions as well as allied Iran-backed militias.

Israel rarely comments on the airstrikes it carries out in Syria. But it has said repeatedly it will not allow Iran to deepen its influence in Syria.

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