Photo Credit: Ofer Zidon / Flash 90
F-16 of the Golden Eagle Squadron, taking off during a training sortie in Ovda IAF Air Base.

Israeli Air Force (IAF) airstrikes against targets in the Damascus area early Monday morning killed six non-Syrians nationals and destroyed Iranian weapons and missile depots, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported.

The SOHR quoted its sources in Syria which reported that the Israeli attack hit the headquarters of the 4th Division in the mountains surrounding the Damascus-Beirut road, where weapons and missile depots belonging to the Iranians and Shia militias are located.

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Iran commands a multi-national force of tens of thousands of Shia-Muslims who have come to support their military cause in Syria.

The Syrian Army’s 1st Division in the Al-Kiswa area was also hit, in addition to other locations west and south-west of the capital Damascus.

This area has previously been targeted in Israeli strikes.

The Israeli strikes lasted for about half an hour, the SOHR reported.

The Syrian Army said its air defenses intercepted a number of the missiles, but the SOHR said that some of them reached their targets, leaving material damage.

Six non-Syrian nationals were killed in the bombings, four of whom were killed in airstrikes on warehouses on Beirut’s old road, while two were killed in airstrikes on the 1st Division and its surroundings, the SOHR added.

The IDF has remained silent on the reports, and it usually does.

Iran routinely attempts to arm the Lebanon-based Hezbollah with advanced weapons. Israel has exposed and thwarted multiple attempts by Iran to transfer game-changing weapons to Hezbollah, including by air shipments from Iran, through Damascus Airport.

Israel has significantly stepped up its strikes against Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria in recent weeks.

The IAF reportedly carried out a strike against an Iranian arms convoy in Iraq in broad daylight on Thursday.

In general, Iran and Hezbollah’s military build-up in Syria remains a red line for Israel. The IAF has carried out thousands of attacks to thwart the Iranian entrenchment in the war-torn country.

Israeli leaders have repeatedly declared that they will not tolerate an Iranian threat on its northern border with Syria and will take all necessary measures to ensure that such a menace does not emerge.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.