Syria accuses Israel of airstrike in western province | News | DW | 25.12.2020

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Syria accuses Israel of airstrike in western province

Israel has been accused of — and has previously confirmed — using airstrikes in the war-torn nation. Israel has previously said airstrikes were necessary to protect themselves from Hezbollah.

Syrian air defenses said Friday they intercepted missiles fired by Israel on the western province Hama, according to state news agency SANA.

The Syrian Ministry of Defense posted a statement saying Israel "launched an aggression by directing a barrage of rockets" from the Lebanese city of Tripoli towards the Masyaf area. The ministry continued by stating their air defenses "confronted the enemy missiles and intercepted most of them."

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported strikes on Masyaf, saying neighboring Israel was "likely responsible."

There was no immediate statement on what the target was or if there were any injuries or deaths. Israel has yet to comment.

Striking Syria through Lebanon

Israel has carried out several airstrikes in Syria from Lebanese territory, regularly violating Lebanese airspace. The country has acknowledged carrying out dozens of airstrikes in Syria, primarily aimed at suspected Iranian weapons shipments.

Israel has stated in the past they were concerned that Hezbollah was trying to establish production facilities to improve their missile capabilities. Some have seen the airstrikes as an attempt to prevent Iran, an ally to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, from increasing their military influence in the region.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Israel has carried out more than 30 airstrikes against targets in Syria so far in 2020.

kbd/aw (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

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