The Syrian army stated on Sunday that Israeli missiles from the Golan Heights hit locations near Damascus, targeting Iranian militias’ stronghold near Syria’s holiest Shi’ite Muslim shrine. Syria’s air defenses intercepted some of the missiles, resulting in injuries to two soldiers. The incident did not specify the location. Since the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israeli civilians and soldiers, Israel has increased its strikes on Iranian-backed militia targets in Syria. The Israel Defence Force did not immediately comment on the attack.
The strikes hit an outpost of the pro-Iranian Hezbollah group in southern Damascus, specifically the Sayeda Zainab neighborhood, which is the site of Syria’s holiest major Shi’ite shrine. This area is known for its heavy presence of pro-Iranian militia fighters from Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan, who have come to Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Iran’s proxy militias led by Lebanon’s Hezbollah now have significant influence in various areas of Syria, including suburbs around Damascus. Israel has consistently targeted these areas to weaken Tehran’s military presence, which has expanded in recent years.