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    Israeli missile strike on Damascus flat kills two, Syria says

    Image caption,

    The reported missile strike caused extensive damage to a fourth-floor flat in the building in the Kafr Sousa area

    At least two people have been killed in an Israeli missile strike in Syria’s capital, Damascus, Syrian state media and activists say.

    The Syrian military said two civilians died when several missiles hit a block of flats in the Kafr Sousa district.

    A monitoring group said two foreigners and a Syrian civilian were killed, and that the area was frequented by senior figures from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Lebanese group Hezbollah.

    The Israeli military has not commented.

    However, it has previously acknowledged carrying out hundreds of strikes on targets in Syria that it says are linked to Iran and allied armed groups.

    It has reportedly stepped up such strikes since the start of the war in the Gaza Strip in October, in response to cross-border attacks on Israel by Hezbollah and other Iran-backed groups in Lebanon and Syria, who say they are acting in support of the allied Palestinian group Hamas.

    Last month, a strike in Damascus that was blamed on Israel killed five senior Revolutionary Guards and several Syrian security personnel.

    Iran has built a wide network of allied armed groups and proxies operating in countries across the Middle East. They are all opposed to Israel and the US and sometimes refer to themselves as the “Axis of Resistance”.

    A number of the armed groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah, are proscribed as terrorist organisations by Israel, the US, UK and other countries.

    Syria’s official Sana news agency cited a military source as saying a number of missiles were launched towards Damascus from the direction of the Israel-occupied Golan Heights shortly before 09:40 (07:40 GMT) on Wednesday.

    The missiles struck a residential building in Kafr Sousa, in the west of the city, killing two civilians and wounding another, the source added.

    The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – which monitors the war in Syria via a network of sources – said the missiles killed two non-Syrian nationals who had been inside the block of flats. A Syrian civilian who had been on the street below was killed by falling shrapnel, it added.

    Video and photos posted online showed the aftermath of what appeared to be a precision strike on the fourth floor of the building, with extensive damage to the exterior and interior of one flat clearly visible.

    Several vehicles parked on the street below were also damaged, including an empty bus reportedly belonging to the adjacent Al-Bawader private school.

    Video caption,

    Watch: Aftermath of alleged Israeli strike in Damascus

    In February 2023, a rocket attack blamed on Israel killed at least five people in Kafr Sousa, which is situated near a large complex used by security agencies.

    Later on Wednesday, explosions were heard in Damascus after what the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported was “a new Israeli attack on positions of Iranian-backed militias” in the south-west of the capital.

    In a separate development, Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency reported that a woman had been killed and her child critically injured in an Israeli strike in the southern Lebanese village of Majdal Zoun.

    The Israeli military said its warplanes had struck three Hezbollah operational command centres in southern Lebanon, and that artillery had shelled the Alma al-Shaab and Dhayra areas “in order to remove a threat”.

    Hezbollah said its fighters had fired at Israeli military positions in the northern Israeli communities of Even Menachem, Shomera and Avivim, as well as several locations in the disputed Shebaa Farms/Mount Dov area.

    Also on Wednesday, Iran’s oil minister alleged that Israel was behind two explosions that authorities said had disrupted the country’s main north-south gas pipeline network a week ago.

    “The explosion of the country’s gas lines was the work of Israel,” Oil Minister Javad Owji told reporters. “The plot was foiled.”



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