CAIRO: An Israeli airstrike killed a soldier in southern Syria on Thursday, Syrian state media reported, in an attack in a frontier area where Israel has expressed concern about deployments of Iran-backed forces.
An Israeli military spokesperson refused to comment on the report.
Israel has mounted frequent attacks against what it has described as Iranian targets in Syria, where Tehran-backed forces including Lebanon’s Hezbollah have deployed over the last decade to support President Bashar Assad in Syria’s war.
Citing a military source, Syrian state news agency SANA said “the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial aggression,” firing missiles from the Golan Heights, territory Israel captured from Syria in 1967.
Syrian air defenses shot down most of the rockets, SANA said. The attack led to “the martyrdom of a soldier and some material losses,” it added.
In 2019, then US President Donald Trump broke with other world powers by recognizing Israel as sovereign on the Golan Heights, which it annexed in 1981 in a move not recognized internationally.
Separately, a British warplane that is part of a US-led coalition shot down a drone this week near a base where US troops are stationed in southern Syria, officials said on Thursday.
The base, known as Tanf, is located in a strategic area near Syria’s Tanf border crossing with Iraq and Jordan and houses a small number of US troops. Tanf is the only position with a significant US military presence in Syria outside the Kurdish-controlled north.
Britain’s Defense Ministry said a Typhoon warplane shot down a “small hostile drone” that was a threat to coalition forces. It said this was the first air-to-air engagement for a Royal Air Force Typhoon.
US Central Command spokesman, Navy Captain Bill Urban, said two drones entered the Tanf garrison “deconfliction” zone on Tuesday and one was shot down as it moved closer to the base. He said there were no casualties or damage to facilities.