Israeli air strikes kills two people in Syria’s capital: State media

The attack took place in Damascus’s Kafr Sousa area near a large, heavily guarded complex used by security agencies.

A view of the damage after Syrian state media reported Israeli strikes hit a residential building in the Kafr Sousa area of Damascus, Syria, February 21, 2024 [Firas Makdesi/Reuters]

At least two people have been killed in Israeli air strikes in the Syrian capital, Damascus, state media reported.

The attack on Wednesday took place in Kafr Sousa, an area that is home to a number of security and military headquarters, the news agency SANA reported.

Israel has not confirmed the strikes.

Videos on social media verified by Al Jazeera showed an apartment on fire in a multistorey building. Windows were shattered in nearby buildings and dozens of parked cars were damaged in the area.

An empty bus for the nearby Al-Bawader Private School was damaged and people were seen rushing to fetch their children.

The neighbourhood also has residential buildings and Iranian cultural centres. Witnesses heard several back-to-back explosions and ambulances rushed to the area, the Reuters news agency reported.

Syrian state TV did not say who was killed. Rami Abdulrahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a Britain-based opposition war monitor, said the two killed were inside an apartment but did not give any clues about their identities.

Abdulrahman said that the strike was similar to last month’s killing in Beirut, Lebanon, of Saleh al-Arouri, a top official with the Palestinian group Hamas.

Workers and people stand near a damaged building after, according to Syrian state media reports, several Israeli missiles hit a residential building in the Kafr Sousa district, Damascus, Syria February 21, 2024. REUTERS/Firas Makdesi
Two people were killed inside an apartment [Firas Makdesi/Reuters]

SOHR said the blasts in Damascus were “a result of a new Israeli targeting of Syrian territory”.

Since the start of the year, the group said it has documented 13 Israeli attacks on Syrian territory – eight air strikes and five rocket attacks by ground forces, which destroyed nearly 31 targets and left 31 fighters dead and 13 others injured.

Eight civilians, including a woman, were also killed in the Israeli strikes this year, according to SOHR.

The United States and Israel have for years carried out attacks against what they describe as Iran-linked targets in Syria, where Tehran’s influence has grown since it backed President Bashar al-Assad in the war that erupted in 2011.

The attacks renewed in intensity since October 7 when Hamas fighters stormed communities in southern Israel killing more than 1,100 people and taking about 240 captive. The unprecedented assault triggered a ferocious response by Israel which has killed more than 29,000 people in the Gaza Strip.

Last month, an Israeli strike on the Syrian capital’s western neighbourhood of al-Mezzeh destroyed a building used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), killing at least five Iranians.

In December, an Israeli air strike on a suburb of Damascus killed Iranian general Seyed Razi Mousavi, a longtime adviser of the IRGC in Syria. Israel has also targeted members of Palestinian and Lebanese armed groups in Syria over the past years.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies