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Israeli troops enter Syria to pursue suspects; 5 soldiers killed in Damascus strike

Israeli forces crossed into Syria on Monday and fired at four individuals who had “hurled objects along the border fence”, wounding one of them, the army said.

Israel, which regularly carries out air strikes inside Syria’s territory, rarely publicly acknowledges cross-border operations.

According to an Israeli army statement, “observation soldiers spotted four suspects” near Haspin in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, without providing any specific information on what they were throwing.

Israel Defense Forces “soldiers were dispatched to the scene, crossed the border and operated… by firing at one of the suspects’ legs,” the statement added.

The wounded suspect, whose condition wasn’t immediately clear, was “evacuated by helicopter to a hospital” in Israel, the army said without mentioning what happened to the other three.

Israel rarely comments on its military actions in Syria, save for operations in direct response to what the army considers immediate threats to Israel’s sovereignty.

But Israel has acknowledged carrying out hundreds of air strikes in Syria, targeting both government positions and Iran-backed forces, since civil war broke out in the country in 2011.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.

Five Syrian soldiers killed in Israeli strike on Damascus: state media
Damascus (AFP) Sept 16, 2022 -
An Israeli airstrike near Damascus airport killed five Syria soldiers on Saturday, Syrian state media said.

“The aggression led to the death of five soldiers and some material damage,” Syria’s official news agency Sana quoted a military source as saying.

The strike carried out at approximately 00:45 am (2145 GMT Friday) came “from the northeastern direction of Lake Tiberias, targeting Damascus airport and some points south of Damascus,” it added.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor confirmed that the strikes killed five Syrian soldiers, and said two Iran-backed fighters were also killed.

The monitor, which relies on a wide network of sources inside Syria, said Israel targeted sites where Iran-backed groups are stationed near Damascus airport and in the Damascus countryside.

An Israeli strike in the countryside around the capital Damascus and south of coastal Tartus province killed three soldiers last month.

In June, Israeli airstrikes put Damascus airport out of service for nearly two weeks.

In the past month, Israeli airstrikes have twice targeted Aleppo airport.

The rights monitor said at the time that those strikes had targeted weapons depots belonging to Iran-backed militias.

Since civil war erupted in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes against its northern neighbour, targeting government troops as well as allied Iran-backed forces and Hezbollah fighters.

While Israel rarely comments on individual strikes, it has acknowledged carrying out hundreds.

It says its air campaign is necessary to stop arch-foe Iran gaining a foothold on its doorstep.

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“The Russian army is an army of lies,” General Thierry Burkhard, chief of the French armed for … read more

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