Damascus: Just hours after new US president Joe Biden took office, Israel launched airstrikes in the Syrian province of Hama. The Syrian army has blamed the Israeli strikes for the death of four civilians. This is the first Israeli attack on Syria since the change of guard in the United States.
According to the Syrian army and the SANA news channel, the missiles were fired at Hama province around 4 am Friday. The attacks were carried out from the Lebanese border town of Tripoli. The Syrian army and news outlets have blamed Israeli fighter jets for dropping missiles after infiltrating into Lebanon’s airspace. The Syrian news agency also claimed that the Syrian army’s air defence system had successfully intercepted most of the missiles Israel had fired. The Syrian military stated that some of the rockets landed in urban areas, where four members of a family, including two children, were killed.
The Syrian army and state-run news channels have accused Israel of launching airstrikes in Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zor province a few days ago. The Syrian military has refrained from commenting on the extent of the attack. Although according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the airstrikes that targeted at least 18 military bases in Syria, have claimed the lives of 57 members of Iran’s Quds Force and Iranian-backed terrorist groups.
Besides, Israeli warplanes are said to have targeted a site linked to Iran’s nuclear program. Reports called it the most extensive Israeli operation against Iran’s military bases in Syria so far. Also, Iran declined to comment on the news. Last week, however, Iranian soldiers and Iranian-affiliated terrorists had evacuated their military base in Deir ez-Zor and were hiding in the civilian settlements of al-Bukamal and Mayadin. Iran is said to have made a move, citing fears of Israeli airstrikes.
The Israeli military has not commented on Friday morning’s attack in Syria’s Hama. However, it is the first time Israel has taken action in Syria since new US President Joe Biden took office. President Biden has indicated taking up an amicable stance on Iran. The new US president has said the US would reach a new nuclear deal with Iran if its conditions are met. Reacting to the US stance, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a stern warning to the Biden administration not to make the mistake of lifting sanctions on Iran.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had announced four days ago that ‘Israel should not launch airstrikes on Iranian positions in Syria. Syria should not become a battleground for an Israel-Iran conflict.’ Moreover, the Russian foreign minister had called on Israel to inform Russia about Iran’s dangerous military bases in Syria, so that Russia would take action against it.