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An Israeli air strike on Damascus yesterday left 15 dead, including two civilians, The Defense Post has reported, citing the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
According to the outlet’s head, Rami Abdel Rahman, “The strike on Sunday is the deadliest Israeli attack in the Syrian capital.”
The strike targeted a meeting of government army officers and besides the human casualties also destroyed a road and demolished a ten-story building.
“The Israeli enemy carried out an aerial aggression from the direction of the occupied Golan Heights targeting several areas in Damascus and its vicinity, including residential neighbourhoods,” the Syrian government said in a statement following the attack.
Al Jazeera quoted Syria’s SANA state news agency as reporting that explosions were heard in Damascus half an hour after midnight on Sunday and that the city’s air defense systems had detected “hostile targets in the sky around Damascus.”
In a statement, the Syrian army said about the attack “It caused damage to several civilian homes and material damage to a number of neighbourhoods in Damascus and its vicinity.”
Al Jazeera also quoted one person from the residential district that was hit as saying he could not understand why a residential area lacking any military installations would be targeted.
Syria’s Foreign Minister called the Israeli attack “a crime against humanity” as it was carried out just two weeks after the devastating earthquake that killed more than 40,000 in Turkey and close to 5,000 in Syria.
Some historical buildings were also destroyed by the Israeli strikes, according to Syria’s Director General of Antiquities and Museums, who said their restoration will be costly and time-consuming.
Iran, which Israel has repeatedly stated is the actual target of attacks on Syria, condemned the attack, with a Foreign Ministry spokesman saying that Israel was “trying to exacerbate the pain and suffering of the Syrian nation at a time when it is faced with the effects of the recent destructive earthquake”.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com