Israel launched missiles at the Syrian capital.
Israeli F-35 fighters demonstrated at the Hatzerim air base near Beer Sheva in June 2023. Photo: AFP

The Syrian Ministry of Defense said Israel fired missiles at many targets on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus, killing and injuring several civilians.

The missile was launched from the direction of the Golan Heights area controlled by Israel at 13:00 Damascus time, the Syrian Ministry of Defense said on January 29. The agency initially said the attack killed “several Iranian advisers” but later retracted the information.

Iran’s Tasnim news agency said Israel’s attack hit an “Iranian military advisory center” in the Sayyida Zeinab area, on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus, but Iranian ambassador to Syria Hossein Akbari denied it. He also confirmed that “no Iranian citizens or advisers” were killed after the attack.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said Israel had raided a military base operated by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the armed group Hezbollah, killing 7 people. People were killed, including pro-Tehran gunmen.

The Israeli Ministry of Defense has not commented on the information.

Since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have conducted hundreds of raids against positions of government troops and pro-Iranian forces in Syria to prevent Tehran from expanding Influence in the region.

The number of attacks increased sharply after the Israel-Hamas conflict broke out at the end of October last year, in the context of Tel Aviv accusing Iran of supporting armed groups in the Gaza Strip.

Iran announced on December 25 last year that Lieutenant General Sayyed Razi Mousavi, a senior adviser to the IRGC, was killed in an Israeli airstrike targeting the Syrian capital, Damascus. Mr. Moussavi is the highest-ranking Iranian general to be murdered abroad since General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds task force of the IRGC, was attacked by the US with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Iraq in January. 2020.

On January 20, Israel continued to raid a building used by Iranian advisers in Damascus, killing five IRGC officers, including one who was the commander of this force’s intelligence operations. Iran’s Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the attack, affirming that it would respond to Tel Aviv “at the appropriate time and place”.