Syria accuses Israel of rare daytime strike, says 3 soldiers wounded

State media claims fighter jets target sites in Tartus province and near Masyaf in northwest of country

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Smoke is seen rising from a site targeted by an alleged Israeli air strike in Masyaf, Syria, March 12, 2023. (SANA)
Smoke is seen rising from a site targeted by an alleged Israeli air strike in Masyaf, Syria, March 12, 2023. (SANA)

Israel carried out a rare daytime strike against targets in northwestern Syria on Sunday morning, injuring three soldiers and causing damage, the state-run broadcaster SANA said.

There was no response from the Israel Defense Forces, in line with its policy of not commenting on specific air raids in the country.

SANA, citing a military source, said Israeli fighter jets launched a volley of missiles from over north Lebanon, targeting sites in the coastal Tartus province and near Masyaf in the Hama province.

The area around Masyaf, which is thought to be used as a base for Iranian forces and pro-Iranian militias, has been repeatedly targeted in recent years in attacks widely attributed to Israel.

The report did not elaborate on the soldiers’ conditions or the extent of the damage caused to the targeted sites.

SANA claimed that Syrian air defenses managed to intercept several of the Israeli missiles in the strike. Syria regularly claims to intercept Israeli missiles, though military analysts doubt such assertions.

Though Israel’s military does not comment on specific strikes in Syria, it has admitted to conducting hundreds of sorties against Iran-backed groups attempting to gain a foothold in the country.

The IDF says it also attacks arms shipments believed to be bound for those groups, chief among them Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Additionally, airstrikes attributed to Israel have repeatedly targeted Syrian air defense systems.

While alleged Israeli attacks in Syria typically take place under the cover of darkness, Sunday’s strike was conducted at around 7:15 a.m., according to SANA.

The last airstrike in Syria attributed to Israel was on Tuesday, when Syria said an airstrike targeted the Aleppo International Airport, leading it to be shut for several days.

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