Syria Says Israeli Planes Target Military Positions in Syria

BEIRUT (Reuters) -
View of the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, seen from the Israeli side of the border. (David Cohen/Flash90)

Israeli planes targeted military positions in Syria on Tuesday, but Syrian air defenses confronted and downed some of the rockets, state news agency SANA reported.

Citing a military source, SANA said that Israeli aircraft had targeted “our military positions in the provinces of Tartous and Hama.”

“The enemy missiles were dealt with and some of them were shot down,” SANA said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said several explosions had been heard in the areas around Masyaf and Wadi al-Uyoun near Hama city and around the coastal city of Tartous, targeting areas where there are Iranian military facilities.

The Observatory’s head, Rami Abdulrahman, said the attack had also targeted the area around the coastal city of Baniyas for the first time, with two rockets hitting around one kilometer from an oil refinery.

An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

Israel has on previous occasions acknowledged carrying out air strikes in Syria and said they were aimed at degrading the capacity of Iran and its allies, including Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah group, which are backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s seven-year civil war.

Syrian state tv said air defenses downed five rockets.

According to Syrian state tv, the head of a hospital in Masyaf said one person had died and four had been wounded. The head of a hospital in Baniyas said eight had been injured as a result of the strikes.

SANA said the planes had come at a low altitude from west of neighboring Lebanon’s coastal capital Beirut.

Reuters journalists in Beirut heard unusually loud aircraft sounds shortly before the strikes were reported in Syrian media.

Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen news said Israeli fighter planes released countermeasures against anti-aircraft fire “and withdrew towards the sea at the same time as the sounds of explosions were heard in Hama countryside.”