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Syria Attack Targets Iranian Troops, Kills Nine, War Monitor Says

Syrians wave Iranian, Russian, and Syrian flags during a protest against U.S.-led air strikes in Damascus last month.

Syrian state media have accused Israel of launching missiles at a target near Damascus, saying Syrian air defenses intercepted and shot down two of the incoming missiles. A war monitor said nine people were killed in the missile attack.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack on May 8 targeted depots and rocket launchers that likely belonged to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, killing nine people. The group said it was not clear whether those killed were Iranians.

The official news agency SANA said the attack occurred in the countryside in Kisweh, just south of the Syrian capital, and two civilians were killed.

The attack took place shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump announced he was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, a move that had prompted Israel to go on high alert.

The Israeli military said that -- upon identifying "irregular activity" by Iranian forces in Syria -- it instructed civic authorities in the Golan Heights to ready bomb shelters, deploy new defenses, and mobilize some reservist forces.

Iran, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has vowed to retaliate for recent Israeli strikes in Syria targeting Iranian outposts in the country.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, dpa, and AP