Israeli strikes in Syria kill 9 pro-regime fighters
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Israeli air strikes late Monday in the area of the central Syrian city of Palmyra killed nine fighters loyal to the Iran-backed Damascus regime, a war monitor said Tuesday.
Those who died in several missile strikes included three Syrians and six foreigners of unknown nationalities, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Since the start of the civil war in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria targeting government troops as well as allied Iranian forces and fighters from Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
Syrian state media had said that Syrian air defences late Monday downed Israeli missiles over Palmyra in the central Homs province before they could reach their targets. Contacted by AFP, an Israeli army spokesperson declined to comment. Israel has repeatedly vowed to impede any Iranian encroachment in war-torn Syria across its border.
Monday's attack came hours after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. Last week, an Israeli drone targeted a Hezbollah car in Syria near the Lebanese border, a source from the group said.
Late last month, Syrian air defences intercepted an Israeli missile attack also targeting Homs province in the centre of the war torn country. The Observatory said the target was a military airport where Iranian forces were present.