23 April, 2024
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Israeli strikes in Syria kill 36 soldiers and six Hezbollah fighters


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Israeli strikes in Syria kill 36 soldiers and six Hezbollah fighters

The assault, denounced by Iran, targeted several sites in Aleppo hours after another attack on Damascus countryside

MEE staff

An Israeli Air Force fighter jet flying over the border area with south Lebanon on 12 March 2024, amid ongoing cross-border tensions (AFP)

Israeli air strikes on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Friday morning killed 36 Syrian army soldiers and six fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah in the deadliest attack by Israel on the country in three years, a war monitor said.

According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the strikes targeted a missile warehouse belonging to Hezbollah that was near a training centre for Syrian forces in Jabrin, close to Aleppo international airport. 

The NGO added the Israeli strikes also targeted air-defence force installations in Al-Saferah, with explosions heard in the Kafr Joum area in western Aleppo.

“This is the highest death toll ever among regime forces in a single Israeli attack on Syrian territory, and is the most violent attack by Israeli forces on Syria in the past three years,” SOHR said, adding that several Syrian missiles failed to intercept the Israeli attack.

Syria’s state news agency Sana reported on Friday that an Israeli attack was carried out at 1:45 am from the direction of Athriya, southeast of Aleppo, and that civilians and combatants were killed and wounded.

SOHR said it has so far documented 28 Israeli attacks on Syria in 2024, killing a total of 104 combatants including Syrian army soldiers and allied fighters from Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran.

The Israeli army rarely confirms attacks on Syria despite hundreds of reported air strikes reported by Syrian sources and war monitors in recent years.

Israeli air strikes on Syria have intensified since the 7 October Hamas-led attack on southern Israel, which killed nearly 1,160 people and was followed by an Israeli onslaught on Gaza that killed more than 32,500 people. 

‘Violating Syria’s sovereignty’

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani accused Israel of  “violating Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” after the attack and causing “a serious threat to regional and international peace and security”.

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Syrian state media on Thursday said an Israeli air strike killed two civilians after bombing a residential building in the countryside of Damascus. 

Meanwhile, Hezbollah on Friday said that six of its fighters were killed, without providing details on where or when they died. 

Israel has exchanged fire with Hezbollah almost daily in the aftermath of 7 October, prompting fears of a regional war.

The hostilities have so far killed at least 347 people, most of them Hezbollah fighters, alongside at least 68 civilians, according to a tally by AFP.

Hezbollah attacks have killed 10 Israeli soldiers and eight civilians, according to the Israeli army. 

On Wednesday, an Israeli air strike killed seven volunteer paramedics in an attack that targeted an emergency relief centre in south Lebanon.

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