Israel said it attacked nearly all of Iran’s military infrastructure in Syria on Thursday after Iranian forces fired rockets at the Golan Heights for the first time in the most extensive military exchange ever between the two adversaries. A Syrian war monitor says that Israel strikes IRGC military installations kills 42 in Syria.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday the new death toll from attacks early Thursday was 27. These included at least 11 Iranians and six Syrian soldiers.
In strikes near the capital Damascus on Wednesday, the Observatory said at least 15 were killed, including eight Iranians.
That brings to 42, including 19 Iranians, the total killed during the two days of strikes.
Syria blamed Israel for the Wednesday strikes that hit near the capital. Israel said its Thursday strikes were in response to a barrage of Iranian rockets on its positions in the occupied Golan Heights, the most serious military confrontation between the two bitter enemies to date. The world community fears that these continued attacks may lead to an all-out war. Israeli military capabilities are far superior to their Iranian counterpart.
The latest strike was the heaviest Israeli barrage in Syria since the 2011 start of the civil war. The Iranians, allied Shi’ite Muslim militias and Russian troops have deployed in support of Baschar al-Assad’s violent regime. The confrontation came two days after the United States announced its withdrawal from a nuclear accord with Iran.
Israel destroyed dozens of Iranian military sites in Syria, as well as Syrian anti-aircraft units that tried unsuccessfully to shoot down Israeli planes, Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus said.
Syrian state media said Israel launched dozens of missiles and hit a radar station, Syrian air defense positions and an ammunition dump, underscoring the risks of a wider escalation involving Iran and its regional allies.
The Syrian Army Command said Israel’s attack killed three people and injured two others.
AP and Reuters contributed to this article.