Russia says Syria’s air defenses shot down more than 30 cruise missiles and guided bombs during Israel’s aerial attacks in the early hours of Monday.
Russia’s National Defense Control Center said Israeli airstrikes targeting an airport in southeastern Damascus killed four Syrian soldiers and wounded six others, RIA news agency said.
The announcement came after the Israeli military claimed in a statement that it had struck what it said were Iranian targets in response to alleged rocket fire it blamed on Iran.
The so-called Syria Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group sympathetic to militants, had also claimed that the Israeli air raids killed at least 11 pro-government fighters including two Syrians.
Israel reportedly launched an hour of air attacks over Damascus on a second consecutive night of military action in what appeared to be a face-saving attempt after Syrian air defenses thwarted an attack on Sunday.
The Sunday attack, launched by four Israeli F-16 jets, did not damage its targets, while Syrian air defenses shot down seven missiles fired at an airport in southeast Damascus, Russia’s control center said.
Syrian state media, citing a military source, said the country had endured “intense attack through consecutive waves of guided missiles” early Monday, but had destroyed most “hostile targets”.
The Israeli military claimed that Iranian forces operating in Syrian territory had launched a surface-to-surface rocket from Syrian territory aimed at the northern occupied Golan Heights.
“In response to the attack, during the night (Israeli military) fighter jets struck Iranian Quds Forces military targets in Syria in addition to Syrian aerial defense batteries,” it said.
Iran says it has military advisers in Syria on the request of the Syrian government to help cleanse the country of foreign-backed terrorists.
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Israeli forces had carried out “hundreds” of attacks against Iranians in Syria and warned them “to get out of there fast.”