Syrian air defences responding to Israeli missiles targeting Iranian facilities near Damascus, May 10, 2018. (REUTERS)

Israeli air strikes killed 12 Iran-backed fighters near Damascus and in southern Syria early Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Seven foreign fighters were killed in the Kiswa area south of Damascus, where Iranian and pro-Iran foreign fighters are present, the Britain-based war monitor said.

Five Syrian members of an Iran-backed group were killed in the Ezra area of Daraa province, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

A Syrian army source quoted by state news agency SANA said air defenses responded to two waves of Israeli strikes after midnight that targeted the Damascus area and then positions in Daraa and the adjacent province of Quneitra.

The source said the attack wounded eight fighters, without elaborating on their rank or nationality.

An Israeli army spokesman contacted by AFP early Thursday declined to comment on the strikes.

Iran and its allied proxy Hezbollah have sent militants to fight alongside the regime of Bashar al-Assad in the nine-year-old war in Syria.

AFP

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.