Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Syria Accuses Israel of Deadly Missile Strike on Damascus Amid Earthquake Aftermath

Monday 20/February/2023 - 06:05 PM
The Reference
Ahmed Seif Eldin
Syria has accused Israel of conducting a missile attack that killed at least five people and injured 15 others in the Kafar Sousah neighborhood of Damascus. According to Syria’s state-run news agency, the targeted area is known to house members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The missile strike, the first of its kind since the deadly earthquakes that rocked parts of the country earlier this month, prompted Syria to call on the United Nations to investigate the incident.
Syria has also claimed that Israel attacked a civilian neighborhood, an art institute, and part of Damascus’s ancient citadel. The attack came as the country was dealing with the aftermath of deadly earthquakes and an attack by the Islamic State that killed 53 people near the city of Palmyra. The earthquakes, which were centered in southern Turkey, claimed the lives of over 46,400 people, including about 5,800 in Syria.
Israel and Syria have been engaged in a long-running shadow war, which has played out in Syria and throughout the Middle East. Israel has carried out over 400 airstrikes in Syria since 2017, targeting what it says are Iranian military assets and Tehran’s network of allied militias in the region. Iran is one of the main military supporters of the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad. Tehran played a critical role in helping Mr. Assad survive an armed rebellion that began during the pro-democracy Arab Spring uprisings of 2011.
The Kafar Sousah neighborhood, where the missile strike occurred, hosts a cultural center controlled by Iran and is also home to members of the IRGC. It was also where Imad Mughniyeh, the military commander of Lebanon’s Iran ally Hezbollah, was killed in a car-bomb blast in 2008. The Tasnim news agency, which is close to the IRGC, denied that any Iranians were killed or wounded in the attack. However, social-media accounts close to the Syrian government posted pictures of Syrians they said had been killed, including a young woman, a cardiologist, and a brigadier general. The details of the alleged victims could not be verified.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for an attack earlier this month on an Israeli-connected oil tanker in the Arabian Sea. Mr. Netanyahu claimed that Iran was relentlessly trying to attack Israel and its citizens wherever they are in the world. He stated that Israel would do everything to defend its people and would respond forcefully to the attacks against them. The missile attack in Damascus is the latest incident in a long-running conflict between Israel and Iran, which has significant implications for the region.