Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Syrian reports: 2 Iranian officers killed in Quneitra strike - Reuters, Daniel Siryoti and Israel Hayom Staff

by Reuters, Daniel Siryoti and Israel Hayom Staff

Rebel-allied news agencies say two Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers were killed and six Iranian military personnel were wounded while preparing to fire at Israeli Golan Heights

Smoke billows at the site of the strike in Quneitra in southern 
Syria on Monday Photo: EPA

Two officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards were killed by tank fire attributed to Israel near the city Quneitra in southern Syria Monday evening, news outlets identified with Syrian rebel groups reported Tuesday.

The reports claimed that two Iranian military personnel had been killed and another six wounded. The reports said that the Revolutionary Guards had been preparing to fire at the Israeli Golan Heights.

News outlets identified with the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom Iran backs, said that none of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards had been wounded in the incident and that it had only resulted in property damage.

On Monday night, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported that an Israeli drone had fired four missiles near a demolished hospital and an army observation post in Syria's southern Quneitra province near the Israeli border.

An army source was quoted by SANA as saying that the "Israeli enemy" also hit several sites along border villages close to a 1974 demilitarized zone on the Golan Heights frontier, which with Russian support, the Syrian army regained control from rebels last year.

Asked about the reported Quneitra strikes, an IDF spokeswoman declined to comment.

State media earlier said the sites in Quneitra that were hit by Israel came from several tank artillery rounds. Social media reports at the time of the strike said that artillery fire had targeted
Residents familiar with the area said that the sites targeted fall within the strategic area known as the "Triangle of Death" connecting the southern Damascus countryside with Deraa and Quneitra provinces.

They say Shiite Hezbollah group has consolidated its new front in southern Syria and entrenched Iran's influence since the defeat of Sunni rebels who were once backed by the U.S., Jordan and Gulf states.

Israel has mounted attacks in Syria as part of its effort to counter the influence carved out there by Iran, which has supported Assad in the war that erupted in 2011.

In January, IAF jets carried out a strike on an Iranian arms cache in Syria.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel would ramp up its fight against Iranian-aligned forces in Syria following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.

Reuters, Daniel Siryoti and Israel Hayom Staff


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