Israel is reported to be behind the strikes which sources say targeted a major Iran-backed ammunition depot on the edge of the Syrian capital and killed five fighters linked with the Islamic republic.

Syrian regime defences respond to Israeli missiles targeting south of the capital Damascus on July 20, 2020.
Syrian regime defences respond to Israeli missiles targeting south of the capital Damascus on July 20, 2020. (AFP)

Israel has closed the airspace over occupied Golan Heights following air strikes targeting Syria's Damascus overnight. Syria has blamed Israel for the strikes which injured regime soldiers and multiple sources said hit an Iran-backed ammunition depot.

It is the latest wave of attacks that intelligence sources have said were Israeli strikes targeting Iranian assets.

There was no immediate comment from Israel but its airlines were told that they would not be allowed to fly in occupied Heights at altitudes over 5,000 feet, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Tuesday. According to the newspaper, the airspace over Golan Heights will remain closed until July 31.

Regime state media said on Monday that Israeli missiles had flown over Syrian Golan Heights where they conducted raids around the capital and live footage showed blasts across the skies of the capital.

The attack wounded at least seven Syrian troops, according to the official SANA news agency, which said the missiles were launched by warplanes.

A Syrian regime forces spokesman was quoted on television as saying its air defences thwarted most of the missiles that targeted southern Damascus suburbs, areas that Israel had hit in the past, before reaching their targets and inflicted only "material losses".

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Iran ammunitions depot

There were reports on Tuesday of five Iran-backed fighters killed in the strike.

Syrian regime defectors said the strike targeted a major Iranian-run ammunitions depot in Jabal al Mane near the town of Kiswa, where Iranian Revolutionary Guards have long been entrenched in a rugged area almost 15 kilometres south of the centre of Damascus.

Other strikes hit Muqaylabiya and Zakiya towns near Kiswa where Lebanese pro-Iranian Hezbollah militia are deployed with other pro-Tehran militias in strength, according to two senior army defectors.

An official in the regional alliance that supports Iran said that there were no Iranian or Hezbollah casualties.

The severity of the blasts was heard in the capital and shook windows of several neighbourhoods there, according to residents.

"The Israelis have targeted a major ammunition depot. There were several strikes and the blasts were huge. There are reports that Iranian personnel have been killed," said Zaid al Reys, a Syrian analyst in touch with sources on the ground.

The bases in eastern, central and southern Syria which Israel had hit in recent months are believed to have a strong presence of Iranian-backed militias, according to intelligence sources and military defectors familiar with the locations.

READ MORE: Israeli strikes kill at least 23 people in Syria

Shadow war targeting Iranian assets

Syrian regime never publicly acknowledges that the strikes target Iranian assets in a country where Tehran's military presence has covered most government-controlled areas.

Western intelligence sources say Israel’s stepped up strikes on Syria in the last few months are part of a shadow war approved by Washington and part of the anti-Iran policy that has undermined in the last two years Iran’s extensive military power without triggering a major increase in hostilities.

Israel has acknowledged conducting many raids inside Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011 where it sees Iran's presence as a strategic threat.

Israeli defence officials have said in recent months that Israel would step up its campaign against Iran in Syria where, with the help of its proxy militias, Tehran has expanded its presence.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies