Israeli air raids target positions in Syria

Israeli missile attack in Syria was the eight so far this year, monitor says.

Masyaf, Hama Syria
Masyaf town in Hama, Syria

Israel launched new air raids on locations in Syria where Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Lebanon’s Hezbollah have a presence, a human rights monitoring group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said loud blasts were reported on Saturday evening in the vicinity of Masyaf city in Syria’s western Hama province.

Several missiles hit targets in the area where Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah militias are based, according to the Observatory.

“There are warehouses, research centres for upgrading missiles and drones. However, no casualties have been reported yet,” the UK-based monitoring group said in a statement.

The missile bombardment was the eighth attack by Israel on targets inside Syria so far this year, the monitor added, the most recent being in early March when explosions were reported in the vicinity of Damascus airport.

State news agency SANA, citing a military source, said Syrian air defence intercepted a number of missiles and the “Israeli aerial aggression” had inflicted “material” damage only.

“At about 19:45 p.m. [16:45 GMT] on Saturday, the Israeli enemy launched an aerial aggression from the direction of the north of Lebanon that targeted some points in the central region as the army air defences confronted it and shot down a number of missiles,” SANA reported.

Israel has staged hundreds of attacks on targets inside government-controlled Syria across the years, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations.

Tel Aviv has indicated that it targets the bases of Iran-allied militias, such as Hezbollah, which has fighters deployed in Syria on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in the decade-old civil war.

The Iranian presence on its northern frontier is a red line for Israel, justifying its attacks on targets inside Syria.

In December, Israeli fighter jets fired missiles at the Syrian port of Latakia, a rare attack on the vital facility for imports into the war-ravaged country. The air raid damaged shipping containers but did not inflict casualties, according to reports.

Source: Al Jazeera