Airstrike on military outpost in Syria that killed 9 soldiers blamed on Israel


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Nine Syrian soldiers were killed in an airstrike on a military outpost in Aleppo in an attack being blamed on Israel.

The airstrike on Sunday night killed six Syrian nationals and three others soldiers fighting for Syria whose nationality is not identified.

The official Syrian news agency SANA cited an unnamed military source as saying that Israel was responsible for the attack, and said that it caused “only material damage.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in Britain, also said that the Israel was responsible for the attack, saying it targeted an Iranian Revolutionary Guard center.  The target is a center for providing equipment and food to pro-Assad forces fighting in the area, and did not serve as storage for weapons, according to the observatory, which also reported that the nine soldiers were killed.

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Israel has neither confirmed nor denied the airstrike, as is its usual practice.

Israel has expressed concern about Iranian fighters supporting the Syrian military in the country’s more than seven-year-old civil war, concerned about an Iranian satellite on its northern border. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is believed to have spoken about the issue during his meeting last week with Russian President Vladimir Putin, since the Russian president has sway over Iran.

On Friday, Israel fired a Patriot missile at a Syrian drone, the second time such an incident occurred during the week.

Israel acknowledged airstrikes on Wednesday night that hit three military posts in the Quneitra countryside of Syria in response to a Syrian drone that Israel shot down over the Sea of Galilee.

The retaliatory attack Wednesday evening came hours after an American-made Patriot missile based in the northern Israeli city of Safed intercepted the unmanned aerial vehicle in Israeli airspace.