Middle East

Israeli forces strike Syria air base — report

Israel on Sunday fired missiles onto a Syrian military air base in the country’s central Homs province, in the second such attack over the past 24 hours, Syria’s state-run media said.

The strike on the T-4 air base “killed one soldier, wounded two others, and damaged an arms warehouse,” a military source told state news agency SANA. In addition to the Syrian army, Iranian fighters and Hezbollah paramilitary forces are also stationed at the air base, said the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

There was no immediate comment from Israel.

The attack came hours after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it had struck several targets in Syria including artillery batteries and observation posts.

At least three soldiers were killed and seven others wounded in the attack, said SANA. SOHR reported that at least 10 military personnel, including three Syrian soldiers, were killed in the strikes.

The IDF said it struck military targets in response to the launching of two rockets from Syria towards Israel, one of which it said landed on its territory.

“We hold the Syrian regime accountable and will firmly operate against any attempt to harm Israeli civilians,” an IDF statement said.

Last month, Israel said its aircraft had hit a Syrian military post in response to anti-aircraft fire against one of its combat planes. One Syrian soldier was killed, according to state-run media.

Read more: Iran’s military power: What you need to know 

Iran on Israel’s doorstep

As the Syrian civil war has wound down, Israel has stepped up its strikes on Iran’s elite forces in the neighboring state. Israeli forces have carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria, most of them against what Tel Aviv says are Iranian and Hezbollah targets.

Israel insists that it will not allow Iran — which has sent forces to help President Bashar Assad in Syria’s civil war — to establish a permanent military presence in Syria.

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