Beirut, 13 January 2021 (dpa/MIA) – The death toll from Israeli airstrikes in eastern Syria against the positions of government troops and their Iranian allies has climbed to 57, a war monitor reported on Wednesday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said about 18 Israeli strikes targeted arms depots and military posts, killing at least 14 government soldiers. The rest of the fatalities were non-Syrian, pro-Iranian allied paramilitaries.
“These are the deadliest Israeli airstrikes on Syria so far,”, the observatory head, Rami Abdel-Rahman, told dpa.
Abdel-Rahman said he believes that the dead included members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard and Lebanese Hezbollah movement.
The intensified strikes also targeted posts of the self-styled Fatmia Brigade, a militia mainly made up of pro-Iran Afghan fighters, the monitor said.
Syria’s state media confirmed the strikes without reporting casualties.
Israel rarely comments on such reports.
Israeli attacks in war-torn Syria have been seen as an attempt to prevent Iran, a main ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, from building up its military influence in the region.
Iranian troops and their allied militias from Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon have been fighting alongside al-Assad’s forces since a pro-democracy uprising broke out in Syria in 2011.