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IDF kills Hamas rocket commander in Syria

Israel is reportedly carrying out an "unprecedented" wave of attacks on targets in Syria linked to Iran.

The Israel-Syria border in the Golan Heights, March 24, 2023. Photo by Doron Horowitz/Flash90.
The Israel-Syria border in the Golan Heights, March 24, 2023. Photo by Doron Horowitz/Flash90.

The Israel Defense Forces eliminated Hassan Akasha, a senior Hamas operative responsible for rocket launches towards the Jewish state, in Syria on Monday, the military announced.

Since Hamas launched the war against Israel on Oct. 7, Akasha “directed Hamas terrorist squads that fired rockets from Syria,” tweeted IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari.

“We will not allow terrorism from Syrian territory, and it [Syria] is responsible for any action that leaves its territory. We will continue to act against any threat,” added Hagari.

Akasha was killed in the southern Syrian town of Beit Jinn, west of Damascus. Monday’s statement did not say how he was killed.

Israel has reportedly hit hundreds of terror targets in Syria in recent years as part of an effort to prevent Iranian military entrenchment in the country, though it rarely confirms these strikes.

Israel has reportedly struck the Aleppo and Damascus airports multiple times in a bid to prevent Tehran from smuggling weapons via Syria to its terror proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Israel is currently carrying out an “unprecedented” wave of attacks on targets linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Syria, Reuters claimed on Monday, citing six local sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

The wire agency cited sources as saying Israel had abandoned the unspoken “rules of the game” in its strikes and seemed “no longer cautious” about inflicting heavy casualties on Hezbollah.

“They used to fire warning shots—they’d hit near the truck, our guys would get out of the truck, and then they’d hit the truck,” one commander in the regional alliance backing Damascus said, describing Israeli strikes on Iranian arms transfers handled by Hezbollah before Oct. 7.

“Now that’s over. Israel is now unleashing deadlier, more frequent air raids against Iranian arms transfers and air defense systems in Syria. They bomb everyone directly. They bomb to kill,” stated the commander.

Last week, the IDF struck targets in Syria after five rockets were fired across the border. According to the military, the rockets all hit open areas. Some of the rockets struck a road near Golan Heights communities.

On Dec. 25, the IRGC’s Brig. Gen. Sayyed Razi Mousavi was killed in an alleged Israeli airstrike in the Damascus area. He was in charge of smuggling arms from Iran to Syria, as well as to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

In mid-November, Israel struck assets in Syria belonging to the group responsible for launching a drone that caused a large explosion at an elementary school in Eilat, injuring one civilian.

The military did not specify which organization was behind the UAV attack on Israel’s southernmost city or what targets were hit in Syria.

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