- Four Israeli F-16 fighter jets reportedly carried out latest airstrike
- Scientific research facility damaged in attack: Russian army
- Watchdog group reportedly said there were five casualties, but Syria has yet to confirm strikes-related deaths
- Russia has expanded its military presence in Syria over the past six years
Seven of the eight missiles fired by Israeli warplanes were shot down by Syrian air defense, the Russian military said on Tuesday.
The missiles, which were fired by four Israeli F-16 fighter jets on Monday, targeted facilities in the southeastern province of Syria, Rear Admiral Vadim Kulit, head of the Russian military’s Reconciliation Center, said in the country, according to the Associated Press.
Syrian air defense units that shot down the missiles used the Russian-supplied Buk-M2 and Pantsyr-S systems, Kulit added. He further noted that one of the missiles hit a scientific research facility in Safira.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said the latest missile attack targeted weapons depots and bases under the control of Iranian Revolutionary Guards operating in the region. .
While the local authorities are still assessing the completeness of the damage, the main electric cable leading to the city Aleppo is being repaired after sustaining a direct hit, Reuters reported.
Iranian-backed militias have increased their presence in Syria over the past year, and Russia, in particular, has built a strong military campaign in the country since 2015.
Russian military aid has helped the administration of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad recover most of the territory seized by the opposition.
Israel has avoided discussing attacks on Iranian-backed forces over the years. As with the missile launch on Monday, Israel has yet to comment.
The director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdulrahman, reportedly told the al-Arabiya network that there was five victims during the missile attack, local Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.
Abdulrahman reportedly said that three of those killed were either Lebanese or Iranians, while two were Syrians. The time of international business could not independently confirm the report.
Syria has yet to confirm whether there were any casualties in the latest airstrike.
The opposition war watch group also said that a helicopter gunship attack in the Golan Heights in May targeted a man working for the Hezbollah organization, a Lebanese militant group backed by Iran.
At that time, Syrian state television reported that the gunship injured an unidentified civilian who was then taken to hospital.
Earlier in May, Israeli missiles were fired at northwestern Syria. Six people were injured, while one person died in the attack.
The Syrian government has not clarified whether or not Israel’s airstrikes targeted Iranian-backed assets, as the government said the information was limited to advisers.