(June 24, 2020 / JNS) Airstrikes in Syria on Tuesday night that are being attributed to Israel left seven fighters dead and several others wounded, according to Syrian state media and a U.K.-based war monitor.
According to Syria’s official SANA news agency, two soldiers were killed and an unspecified number were injured in the strikes, which occurred at 9:17 in the evening and targeted several military sites in Deir ez-Zor and Sweida provinces. The strikes, which the report attributed to Israel, also caused “material damage” to the sites.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, five Iran-backed militiamen were also killed in the attacks, which “caused extensive damage to the communications tower and ignited fire in the area.”
The Israel Defense Forces declined to comment on the report.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said on Sunday that the threat Iran poses to the entire Middle East extends beyond its quest to acquire nuclear weapons.
“Iran also holds conventional weapons,” he said. “It is supporting and financing … Hezbollah; it has influence and supports Hamas and Islamic Jihad; and it is behind attempted terrorist attacks against Israel in a variety of fields, near and far.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged last June, during a memorial service for Israel’s fourth president, Ephraim Katzir, that the Jewish state was carrying out preemptive attacks against enemy targets, such as Iran and Hezbollah, in Syria.
“The chain of tests that we are dealing with is unending. We respond vigorously and with force to all attacks against us; however, we do not take action only after the fact. We deny the enemy’s capabilities before the fact. We are acting methodically and consistently to prevent our enemies from establishing offensive bases against us in our vicinity,” he said.
Numerous strikes against Iranian and Hezbollah sites in Syria have been reported by foreign sources over the past few months.
According to SANA, Israel launched a second attack early Wednesday morning targeting Syrian military sites in Salamyieh and al-Sabboura in the Hama area. The agency quoted a Syrian military source as saying that Syrian air defenses downed a number of missiles shortly after midnight.
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