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Israeli strike kills 42 Syrian soldiers: monitor

Monday - 5/6/2013, 8:47am  ET

This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows damaged buildings wrecked by an Israeli airstrike in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, May 5, 2013. Israeli warplanes struck areas in and around the Syrian capital early Sunday, setting off a series of explosions as they targeted a shipment of highly accurate, Iranian-made guided missiles believed to be on their way to Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group, officials and activists said. The attack, the second in three days, signaled a sharp escalation of Israel's involvement in Syria's bloody civil war. Syria's state media reported that Israeli missiles struck a military and scientific research center near the Syrian capital and caused casualties. (AP Photo/SANA)

BEIRUT (AP) -- A Syrian activist group says Israel's weekend airstrike on a sprawling military complex near the Syrian capital Damascus has killed at least 42 Syrian soldiers.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday that the toll is based on information from sources in Syrian military hospitals.

The Syrian government has not released a death toll. Immediately after Sunday's predawn strike, Syrian state media said the attack caused casualties, but did not elaborate.

So far, Israel has carried out three airstrikes in Syria this year, according to Israeli and U.S. officials, though Israel's government has not formally confirmed involvement.

The officials say the attacks were meant to prevent advanced Iranian weapons from reaching Lebanon's Hezbollah militia, a Syria ally and Israel foe.


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