Middle East

4 killed in alleged Israeli airstrike on Hezbollah sites in Syria

At least four people were killed and seven injured in an alleged Israeli airstrike that reportedly targeted sites belonging to Hezbollah in Homs in western Syria on Tuesday night, according to Syrian media and reports.

According to SANA, the airstrikes were carried out from northeastern Beirut. The report claimed that most of the missiles were shot down by Syrian air defenses, that two civilians were killed and another was injured in the strikes.

A Syrian anti-aircraft missile launched at what was allegedly an Israeli aircraft crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, but preliminary estimates say it went over Lebanon and did not cross into Israeli airspace, according to reports.

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According to the opposition-affiliated Halab Today TV, about 10 members of Hezbollah were injured after a site the movement uses as a military headquarters and to store logistical equipment was targeted in the airstrikes.

According to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, at least 10 missiles hit positions belonging to Syrian regime forces west of the city of Homs, causing casualties among civilians, Syrian soldiers and Iran-backed militants. One of the sites targeted was located in the Syrian Gas Company, according to the report.

The two civilians were reportedly killed by a missile that hit a civilian area near a gas station west of Homs.

A WORKER fixes damage to a building from an Israeli airstrike in Damascus on November 20, 2019. Israel said it struck dozens of Iranian targets in Syria in response to rocket fire the prior day in the Golan Heights. (credit: REUTERS/OMAR SANADIKI)

The airstrikes come exactly a week after the IDF fired two missiles from the Golan Heights toward an empty building south of Damascus.

One of the missiles was shot down and no losses were caused, according to the report. It is unclear whether the missiles were fired from an aircraft or were surface-to-surface ones.

A week before that strike, two Syrian soldiers were injured and material damage was caused in an alleged Israeli airstrike targeting sites in the Homs area.

Over the past year, while Israeli strikes have intensified in Syria, the response time by Syrian air defense batteries has become quicker, leading the Israel Air Force to change how it acts during such operations – including by having larger formations so that more targets can be struck at once during an operation instead of having jets return to the same target.

Iran has begun deploying advanced anti-aircraft missile batteries to the region in an attempt to challenge Israeli jets.

Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.

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