Israeli air strikes hit targets in Syria

AFP , Sunday 2 Jul 2023

Israel carried out air strikes in Syria near the government-held city of Homs, Syrian state media reported on Sunday, and the Israeli army later said it had responded to rocket fire.

Israeli soldiers walk during a military exercise near Moshav Trump Heights in the Israeli-annexed Go
Israeli soldiers walk during a military exercise near Moshav Trump Heights in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on June 22, 2023. AFP

 

During more than a decade of war in Syria, Israel has launched hundreds of air strikes on Syrian territory, primarily targeting Iran-backed forces and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters as well as Syrian army positions.

"The Israeli enemy carried out air strikes coming from the northeast of Beirut, targeting some points in the vicinity of the city of Homs," which is about 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Lebanon, Syrian state-run news agency SANA said, quoting a military source.

In a statement several hours later on Sunday morning, the Israeli military confirmed it had conducted strikes. It said they targeted "an anti-aircraft battery in Syria, as a response to the launch of an anti-aircraft rocket from Syria into Israeli territory".

It added that Israeli jets had also "struck additional targets in the area", and that the Syrian anti-aircraft rocket had "exploded in the air" and no injuries were reported.

SANA had reported that Syrian air defences intercepted some missiles, and that there had been some "material" losses.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said the targeted area in the northeastern Homs countryside was a Hezbollah stronghold housing arms depots belonging to the Iran-backed group.

Israel rarely comments on the strikes it carries out on Syria, but it has repeatedly said it will not allow its arch foe Iran to expand its footprint there.

On June 14, Israel carried out air strikes near Damascus wounding a soldier, according to SANA.

The Observatory, based in Britain, said at the time that the strikes had targeted arms depots belonging to pro-Iran fighters.

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