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Damascus: Israeli airstrikes hit targets in northern Syria, killing one

Large explosions heard and a fire caused in port city of Latakia; targets also hit in Hama; state media says air defenses engaged missiles; 6 reported wounded

A fire burns in the Syrian port city of Latakia, allegedly caused by and Israeli airstrike on May 5, 2021 (Screencapture/Twitter)
A fire burns in the Syrian port city of Latakia, allegedly caused by and Israeli airstrike on May 5, 2021 (Screencapture/Twitter)

Israeli aircraft reportedly carried out airstrikes in northern Syria early Wednesday, Syrian state media said, killing one person and wounding six, in the first alleged attacks since raids last month that saw an errant Syrian anti-aircraft missile explode in the Negev desert.

Syrian state media SANA reported that Syrian air defenses engaged Israeli missiles near the port city of Latakia in northern Syria and Hama in the West. State TV said one person was killed and 6 injured. The report said the casualties were civilians.

Videos posted to social media showed a large fire and several loud explosions at the scene of the blast.

SANA said the site was a plastics factory. Israel has reportedly bombed sites connected to Iran’s alleged missile production and arms depots in the areas of Latakia and Hama before.

The Israel Defense Forces refused to comment on the late-night strikes, in accordance with its policy to neither confirm nor deny its operations in Syria, save for those in retaliation for an attack from the country.

The IDF has launched hundreds of strikes in Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011 against moves by Iran to establish a permanent military presence in the country and efforts to transport advanced, game-changing weapons to terrorist groups in the region, principally Hezbollah.

The strike was the first reported since April 22, when a Syrian surface-to-air missile crashed to earth near the Dimona nuclear reactor.

The IDF said alert sirens were set off not by a directed attack on a target within Israel but by an errant Syrian anti-aircraft missile fired at an Israeli jet during an IAF airstrike on targets in the Syrian Golan Heights.

IDF troops launched an interceptor missile at the incoming projectile to try to shoot it down, apparently unsuccessfully.

Pieces of the Syrian surface-to-air missile landed in open areas of the Ramat Negev region of southern Israel, local authorities said in a message to residents, with some pieces reportedly striking some 30 kilometers from the Dimona reactor.

In response to the launch of the surface-to-air missile, Israeli jets conducted a second round of airstrikes in Syria, bombing the battery that fired the projectile, as well as other air defense systems, the IDF said.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report

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