Israeli drone strike kills three Hezbollah fighters in Syria
Three Hezbollah fighters and a Syrian have been killed in an Israeli drone strike on their car in the south of Syria, a war monitor said.
"A Syrian and three Lebanese Hezbollah fighters from the surveillance and missile-launching unit were killed in the Israeli drone strike on their rented car" in Madinat al-Baath town in the province of Quneitra, close to the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
Later Friday Hezbollah confirmed that three of its fighters had been killed "on the path to Jerusalem," a phrase it uses to refer to fighters killed in the ongoing confrontation with Israel in south Lebanon. It however used the same phrase when it mourned seven fighters killed in an Israeli strike in Syria on November 10. Israel said that strike was in response to a drone attack on the southern Israeli resort town of Eilat.
On Thursday, the Observatory, which has a network of sources in Syria, reported that Israel hit sites close to Damascus with eight missiles, as well as a "regime military post in the province of Quneitra," without causing any casualties.
The strikes were a response to the bombardment of Israeli-annexed Golan, the monitor said.
On December 2, two Syrian Hezbollah fighters and two officers of Iran's Revolutionary Guards were killed in an Israeli air strike on Hezbollah sites close to Damascus, the monitor said.
The official news agency of the Revolutionary Guards, Sepah News, reported on the same day that two members of the guards had died on an "advisory mission" in its ally Syria, but did not specify where and when they were killed.
Israel has undertaken hundreds of air strikes in its neighbor Syria since the start of the country's civil war in 2011, targeting the positions of the Syrian army and groups affiliated with Iran, such as Hezbollah.
Those missions have intensified since the start of Israel's war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip on October 7, which was triggered by the Palestinian group's unprecedented attack on Israel's south.
On November 8, three Hezbollah fighters were killed in an Israeli strike against the militant group's positions close to Damascus, according to the Observatory.
Israel rarely comments on its operations in Syria, but says it wants to prevent Iran, its sworn enemy, from establishing itself on Israel's doorstep.