Pro-Iran Fighters Reported Killed In Israeli Strikes In Syria

A British-based group monitoring the Syrian conflict says eight pro-Iranian militiamen have been killed in alleged overnight Israeli air strikes.

The strikes targeted an arms depot and a position held by Iranian forces and the allied Lebanon-based Shi'ite militant group Hizballah in the southern countryside of the Syrian capital, Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on November 25.

It said a pro-Iranian militia position in southern Syria was also hit.

The nationalities of those killed were not immediately known, but the observatory said they were not Syrian.

The Israeli military declined to comment.

The Syrian state news agency SANA earlier said an Israeli air strike had hit an area "south of Damascus" just before midnight local time.

It also reported another strike in the village of Rwihinah in the southern province of Quneitra, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

SANA did not report any casualties from either attack.

Along with Russia, Iran has provided crucial military support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during Syria’s civil war, which began with a crackdown on anti-government protesters in March 2011. More than 400,000 people have since been killed and millions displaced.

Israel has pledged to stop Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, carrying out hundreds of air strikes there against what it describes as Iranian targets and those of allied militia.

The Israeli army rarely acknowledges individual strikes.

With reporting by AFP and dpa