image Photo: Flash90

Syria claims new airstrikes

Air defenses intercepted an Israeli missile attack on sites in its central and coastal regions yesterday evening, said a military source cited by Syrian state media.

By Jonathan Hessen and Erin Viner

Unidentified aircraft reportedly fired salvoes of air-to-surface precision guided missiles from what appeared to be north of Beirut  in neighboring Lebanon at around 7:15 PM on Monday. The trajectory was calculated to hit Iranian-proxy installations in the Homs Governorate and near the city of Tartus, which hosts Russia’s strategic naval facilities with direct access to the Mediterranean Sea.

The Syrian Armed Forces (SAF) said in a statement that most of the the “hostile targets” were downed, although 2 soldiers were wounded and there were some material losses in the attack.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) identified the targets as “military barracks, the headquarters of a regime-backed prominent military formation and al-Shayrat airbase where the Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian-backed militias have been stationed in the southeastern countryside of Homs.”

Syrian opposition forces added that the airstrikes hit an Iranian weapons shipment that resulted in extensive property damage.

Damascus promptly accused Israel of responsibility for the attack.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit neither confirmed nor denied involvement in the latest strikes in response to TV7’s request for comment.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) was alleged to have carried out 2 other attacks within 4 days this past week near Damascus. The SAF said that airstrikes on Wednesday originating from northern Israel and targeted a military post in the town of Zakya in the western Damascus countryside on 3 November, while the other reportedly struck an Iranian weapons convoy in a rare daytime bombardment on 30 October that wounded 2 soldiers.

While the Israeli military rarely confirms specific operations, political and defense leaders have acknowledged a campaign against Iran’s attempt to establish a permanent foothold in Syria; including the prevention of arms shipments from the Islamic Republic to its proxy, the Hezbollah terror group, based in Lebanon.