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Israeli air strikes kill 40 pro-govt fighters in Syria

Israeli air strikes kill 40 
pro-govt fighters in Syria

The death toll from Israeli air strikes in eastern Syria against posts of government troops and their Iranian allies has risen to 40 people, a war monitor reported on Wednesday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said about 18 Israeli strikes had targeted overnight arms depots and military positions in eastern Syria, killing nine government soldiers and 31 non-Syrian allied paramilitaries.
The dead included pro-government fighters from the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement and Iran-backed militias, the Britain-based watchdog added.
At least 37 others were also wounded in the strikes, according to the monitor.
Initially, the watchdog reported that the strikes had killed 23 people, including seven members of the government forces.
The intensified strikes also targeted posts of the self-styled Fatmia Brigade, a militia mainly made up of pro-Iran Afghan fighters, the monitor said.  Syria’s state media confirmed the strikes without reporting casualties.
“The Israeli enemy carried out an air aggression,” on the eastern cities of Deir al-Zour and al-Bou Kamal, the official Syrian news agency SANA said.
So far, there has been no official comment in Israel on reports of the strikes.
Israeli attacks in war-torn Syria have been seen as an attempt to prevent Iran, a main ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, from building up its military influence in the region.
Iranian troops and their allied militias from Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon have been fighting alongside al-Assad’s forces since a pro-democracy uprising broke out in Syria in 2011.