Israeli Airstrikes Reported Against Iranian Sites in Syria, Killing 2

Airstrike - Syria
(Illustrative) - Surface to air missiles fire as the US launches an attack on Damascus, Syria, in response for a chemical weapons strike, on April 14, 2018. (Photo: AP/Hassan Ammar)

Airstrikes were reported Tuesday evening in two areas in Syria, with some reports attributing the deadly strikes to Israel.

The official SANA news agency said air defenses had responded to an “aggression” in the Tel A-Sahn area of Al-Suwayda in southwestern Syria, near the Israeli border, as well as in Kobajjep in the eastern desert region of Deir Ezzor.

It said Syrian military sites had been targeted in the attack, and unspecified damage was reported. Two people were killed and another four injured, according to the government mouthpiece, which did not name Israel.

Al-Arabiya reported that both strikes were carried out by Israeli planes and that four aircraft had participated in the attack.

The report said that an Iranian weapons shipment had arrived in Al-Suwayda Tuesday morning.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based watchdog, Israeli air forces targeted sites operated by Iranian militias in both Tel A-Sahn and Kobajjep.

There was no comments from the Israel Defense Forces, which generally refuses to make statements about individual strikes. Israeli officials have confirmed the broad outlines of a several-year air campaign to keep Iran from gaining a foothold in Syria.

Iranian bases in Deir Ezzor have been targeted in the past in strikes attributed to Israel, which has launched hundreds of strikes in Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011, targeting government troops, allied Iranian forces and fighters from the Lebanese Shiite terror group Hezbollah.

It was the fourth incident of alleged Israeli strikes in Syria in the past month.

Twelve people were killed on June 7 in overnight drone airstrikes targeting pro-Iranian militia in the Deir Ezzor region in eastern Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Observatory said the sites had been refortified and restocked three days earlier, and munitions and vehicles were destroyed in the strike.

The Observatory did not identify the aircraft responsible in that case, but its head, Rami Abdul Rahman, had told AFP that Israel was likely responsible.

Israel has repeatedly warned that Iran and its proxies, notably the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group, are developing precision-guided missiles, which Israel sees as one of the major strategic threats facing it.

Earlier in the day, IDF chief Aviv Kochavi visited troops in northern Israel and warned they may soon need to shift attention to the West Bank and Gaza, should violence break out in response to Israeli annexation plans.