Israeli-fired rockets hit southern Damascus on Sunday evening, aimed to escalate the attacks targetting Iran-linked assets. The Syrian Army stated that the attack came from the Golan Heights. However, the Israeli military spokesman declined to comment on the attack. Since the beginning of the year, Israel has struck a wide range of targets, which includes a major strike on Iranian-linked strongholds further east, near the Iraqi border.
On Friday, Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz said that Israel was taking action “almost weekly” to prevent Iranian entrenchments in Syria. According to regional intelligence sources, Iran’s Quds forces and the militias it backs are strongly active in the Sayeda Zainab Neighbourhood of southern Damascus, where Iranian-backed militias have a string of underground bases.
Bashar al-Assad’s government has publicly never acknowledged the presence of Iranian forces operating on his behalf in Syria’s Civil war.
Israel has been regular in attacking the Iranian-linked targets in Syria in recent years, and this year these strikes have increased. Western intelligence sources describe this as a shadow war to reduce Iran’s influence. They also add that, this year the Israeli strikes have undermined Iran’s extensive military power in Syria, hence increasing hostilities. According to the Syrian defectors, Iran has built underground tunnels to mitigate the impact of repeated Israeli strikes on its military infrastructures in Syria.