By Alberte Aji, The Associated Press on January 20, 2024.
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) – An Israeli strike on the Syrian capital, Damascus, destroyed a building Saturday, state media outlets reported without giving a word on casualties.
State-TV reported that the “Israeli aggression” targeted a residential building in the western Damascus neighborhood of Mazzeh. The neighborhood is home to several diplomatic missions, including the Lebanese and Iranian embassies.
The strike comes amid widening tensions in the region and the Israeli offensive on Gaza that has killed thousands.
Last month, an Israeli airstrike on a suburb of Damascus killed Iranian general Seyed Razi Mousavi, a longtime adviser of the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in Syria. Israel has also targeted Palestinian and Lebanese operatives in Syria over the past years.
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of war-torn Syria in recent years.
Israel rarely acknowledges its actions in Syria, but it has said that it targets bases of Iran-allied militant groups, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.
Earlier this month, a strike said to be carried out by Israel killed top Hamas commander Saleh Arouri in Beirut.
Over the past weeks, rockets have been fired from Syria into northern Israel and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, adding to tensions along the Lebanon-Israel border and attacks on ships in the Red Sea by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels.