Five Iranian and pro-Iranian militants were killed in the strikes as well, according to initial reports.
Syrian air defence batteries responding to what the Syrian state media said were Israeli missiles targeting Damascus, in a picture taken early on January 21st, 2019
(photo credit: STR / AFP)
The Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist movement announced on Tuesday that Ali Kamel Mohsen Jawad, a member of Hezbollah, was killed in alleged Israeli airstrikes in Damascus on Monday night. Israel is concerned about a possible response from Hezbollah, according to KAN news.
Five pro-Iranian militants were killed and four others were wounded in the strikes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). While the identities of most of the dead are unknown, it is known that they were not of Syrian nationality, according to SOHR.
A military source told Syria’s state news agency SANA on Monday night that seven Syrian soldiers were injured in the strikes. According to SOHR, the soldiers are from the Syrian Air Force’s Air Defense Force and two of the soldiers are in serious condition.
Syrian air defense systems were activated on Monday evening after Israeli aircraft launched missiles towards sites south of Damascus from over the Majdal Shams area of the Golan Heights, according to SANA.
Syrian air defenses responded to Israeli missiles in As-Suwayda, Izraa and Quneitra in southern Syria as well, according to SOHR.
According to Al-Arabiya, Israeli helicopters took part in some of the strikes on Monday evening, and Syrian air defense systems were targeted.
Syrian military defectors said the strike targeted a major Iranian-run ammunition depot in Jabal al Mane near the town of Kiswa, where Iranian Revolutionary Guards have long been entrenched in a rugged area almost 15 km. south of the center of Damascus.
Other strikes hit Muqaylabiya and Zakiya towns near Kiswa where Lebanese pro-Iranian Hezbollah militia are deployed with other pro-Tehran militias in strength, according to two senior army defectors.
“The Israelis have targeted a major ammunition depot. There were several strikes and the blasts were huge. There are reports that Iranian personnel have been killed,” said Zaid al Reys, a Syrian analyst in touch with sources on the ground.
Shortly after the strikes on Monday evening, Israel closed the airspace above the Golan Heights east of the Jordan River until the end of July.
The strikes come after a relative lull in alleged Israeli strikes in Syria in the past month.
The last airstrike blamed on Israel in Syria was reported in the Deir Ezzor area of eastern Syrian on Saturday, June 27, when nine pro-Iranian militia members were killed in al-Bukamal.
Over the past several months, Israel has been accused of dozens of strikes. In June, a series of airstrikes were reported on almost a weekly basis.
Reuters contributed to this report.