Two civilians, including a woman, were killed and at least one child was injured in alleged Israeli airstrikes on Beit Sabir, Damascus governorate, around 1:30 AM on November 20th, 2019, according to local sources.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported “the death of a Syrian civilian and his wife after they were pulled from under the rubble of their house in Beit Sabir village in Sasa area, after the fall of a missile on their house due to Israeli shelling.”
The mayor of the village, Muhammad Al Safadi, told the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) that Ayoub Al Safadi and his wife Nadia Al Safadi were killed when a missile destroyed the two-storey building they resided in. Their 14-year-old son Ahmad Al Safadi was injured, but in good condition after receiving treatment in Abaza hospital. Beat Tema reported that the father of the family worked as a tailor.
Ahmad told SANA: “We were sleeping and heard strong voices, and within less than a minute the house above us was destroyed. I was transferred to the hospital in a state of loss of consciousness.”
Another son of the victims, Muhammad Al Safadi, is a soldier in the Syrian Arab Army and stated: “I was in my place of service when I received a call after two o’clock at night to know that my father was martyred and my younger brother was taken to the hospital.”
According to some sources, including @kholoudahassan, there were two sons pulled from underneath the rubble. According to Zaman Al Wasl, the incident occured at 1:30 AM.
Arab48 reported several wounded civilians, writing: “A medical source at the Qatana National Hospital confirmed that a man and a woman were killed, while a number of others were injured as a result of the raids on the town of Beit Saber, in Saasa, southwest of Damascus.” Other sources also reported several injured but did not specify the number.
According to SANA, Damascus countryside governor Alaa Ibrahim stated that “the rescue teams will remove the debris in Sasa area where a house was damaged, and three survivors were pulled from under the rubble, adding that the rest of the family’s members whose house was targeted by the Israeli brutal aggression are being rescued.” The governor also added that the governorate will provide assistance to those who were affected by the alleged Israeli strikes, and will rebuild the damaged homes.
Zaman Al Wasl wrote that “the recent Israeli raids came hours after Tel Aviv announced that it had been struck by a barrage of missiles fired from Syrian territory, claiming that it had intercepted all these missiles, which failed to reach their targets.”
Times of Israel reported that at least 23 fighters were killed in the Israeli strikes, 16 of them likely Iranians. France 24, quoting Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, put the number of fighters killed at 11, including seven foreign fighters. Neither source identified which location that fighters were killed in.
One of the casualties is believed to be the Basij fighter of the Revolutionary Guards, Ismail Ghulami-Yarahmadi, who was killed on November 20 in Syria, according to a tweet from Raz Zimmt, a professor at Tel Aviv University. A soldier in the Syrian regime army, Jaafar nour al-Deen, was also killed in the Israeli strikes but for both cases, it is unclear in which location they were killed.
Times of Israeli also pointed out that “video footage from Syria appeared to show a Syrian air defense missile crashing to the ground in a heavily populated area shortly after launching, which may account for some of the casualties” but provided no other specific information.
The IDF released a statement acknowledging the strikes they carried out on Syria, writing “#BREAKING: We just carried out wide-scale strikes of Iranian Quds Force & Syrian Armed Forces targets in Syria in response to the rockets fired at Israel by an Iranian force in Syria last night.” In their Hebrew language report, the IDF specifically refers to being carried out “in the Damascus area in the south and west and a small part also on the front.”
The incident occured at approximately 1:30 am local time.
The victims were named as:
Family members (3)
Sources (47) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (4) [ collapse]
Reports of the incidnet mention a residential building being struck in the village of Beit Saber (بيت سابر). Analyzing audio-visual material from sources we have narrowed down the location to these exact coordinates: 33.328061, 36.000645.
Israeli Military Assessment:
Original strike reports
Tonight (Tuesday), IDF fighter jets attacked dozens of military targets belonging to the Iranian Quds Force and the Syrian army. The targets included surface-to-air missiles, headquarters, weapons depots and military bases in Syrian territory.
The attack was carried out in response to the rocket launch by an Iranian force from Syrian territory into Israeli territory, with the intention of hitting Israeli territory. During it, Syrian surface-to-air missiles were fired despite a clear warning issued to avoid this fire.
"The framework for the IDF's activities is clear and the initiative, it is important to note, is in our hands," described the IDF spokesman, Hedi Zilberman. "24 hours ago, four rockets were fired and intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. We conducted an expedited combat procedure, along with a series of air force attacks we carried out tonight. The attack was extensive compared to the time it took place, it was carried out in the Damascus area in the south and west and a small part also on the front. "
The Iranian attack on Israeli territory yesterday is further and clear proof of the current Iranian purpose in Syria. This establishment poses a danger to Israel's security, regional stability and the Syrian regime. "As part of the operation, we acted against the host factor - the Syrian factor, and also against Quds Force for its variety of militias," the IDF spokesman added.
The IDF also considers the Syrian regime responsible for what is happening in its territory, and warns it against acting or allowing action against Israel. Such actions will provoke a sharp reaction.
The IDF will continue to act firmly and decisively against the Iranian establishment in Syria, and is highly prepared for a variety of scenarios and will continue to act as much as necessary for the security of the citizens of the State of Israel. "Yesterday we completed a large and extensive exercise that lasted two days with the participation of the Galilee Design and the Volcano Design."
The guidelines of the Home Front Command must be obeyed, which will be updated if necessary.