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Family killed in Israeli strike on Syria

January 22, 2021

A family, including two children, has died after Israel launched a missile attack against targets in central Syria. A report from a watchdog claims the victims were killed by Syria's own air defense.

Israeli Jet F-15I
Israel routinely launches attacks against Syrian targetsImage: picture-alliance/dpa/Abir Sultan

A family of four was killed in central Syria on Friday during a missile strike launched by Israeli warplanes. Four other people, including two children, were wounded in the attack.

Israel launched the early morning strikefrom  Lebanese air space, according to the Britain-based watchdog, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It destroyed five Syrian military sites in an area of Hama where Iran-backed fighters are present.

Israel routinely carries out such raids against mostly Iran-backed militias.

Israel said it wants to stop Iran from consolidating a foothold on its northern border.

How did the family die?

Syria's air defenses intercepted "most" of the missiles, the Syrian state-controlled SANA news agency reported, citing a military official.

SANA added a family, including a father, mother and two children, were killed and three houses were destroyed.

But the observatory said civilians were killed by "debris from one of the Syrian anti-aircraft defense missiles that fell on a house in a densely populated neighborhood."

How often does Israel attack Syria?

The Israeli army rarely acknowledges attacks, but it did say it hit about 50 targets in the war-torn country in 2020, without providing details.

The Syrian Observatory said it recorded 39 Israeli strikes inside Syria in 2020 that hit 135 targets, including military posts, warehouses or vehicles.

Israel declined to comment on the latest reports.

kmm/sms (AP, AFP, dpa)