On the night of February 19, Israel launched a missile attack on the central region of Damascus, killing five people and injuring 15, Reuters reports , citing local authorities and eyewitness accounts. The area is home to a security complex and several Iranian-linked facilities, surrounded by dense residential development, according to the agency.
The Syrian army said in a statement that several residential buildings were damaged as a result of the Israeli strike.
In recent years, Iran has expanded its presence in the Syrian regions, which are under government control, Reuters notes. Western intelligence agencies believe that local paramilitaries and thousands of militias are under Tehran's control. Israel has stepped up strikes against Syrian airports and airbases in recent months in an attempt to prevent Iran from supplying arms to its allies in Syria and Lebanon, including Hezbollah.