Israeli air strikes killed two Syrian soldiers and wounded three in the central province of Homs, Syrian state media has reported.
Syrian air defences responded to “hostile targets over southeastern Homs province”, intercepting “several of them”, the state-controlled news agency SANA said on Sunday.
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Citing a military source, it said the strikes hit the Shayrat Airbase, inflicting casualties and damage. Syrian state television broadcast footage showing air defences intercepting “missiles of an Israeli aggression”.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in London, said strong explosions were heard when four Israeli missiles hit the Shayrat Airbase in Homs. It said the missile attack targeted the positions of Iran-backed fighters in the area.
The strikes occurred after Israeli warplanes were seen flying over neighbouring Lebanon, whose airspace Israel sometimes crosses to carry out attacks on Syria.
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations.
Israel has acknowledged, however, that it targets bases of Iran-allied armed groups, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
On Tuesday, air strikes in eastern Syria along the border with Iraq targeted Iran-backed fighters and inflicted casualties, Syrian opposition activists said. According to two paramilitary officers in Iraq, some of those killed in the attack were Iranian nationals. The US military said it was not behind the attack. Some Syrian opposition activists blamed Israel.
An Israeli strike on Damascus International Airport and nearby military posts outside the Syrian capital on September 17 killed five soldiers.