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Syria says four soldiers killed in Israeli airstrikes on military bases

State media says Israeli aircraft flying over the Mediterranean fired missiles at military positions in coastal and central Syria; no comment from IDF

Illustrative: An explosion seen near the city of Homs in Syria attributed to Israeli airstrikes on March 5, 2020 (video screen capture)
Illustrative: An explosion seen near the city of Homs in Syria attributed to Israeli airstrikes on March 5, 2020 (video screen capture)

BEIRUT  — Airstrikes hit central and coastal regions of Syria early Saturday, killing four soldiers and wounding one, the Syrian military said, blaming Israel for the strikes.

State media quoted an unidentified Syrian military official as saying that Israeli warplanes flying over the Mediterranean fired missiles toward military positions in coastal and central Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, reported that loud explosions were heard in the coastal province of Latakia as well as Hama and Homs regions in central Syria. It gave no further details.

On Nov. 13, a strike also blamed on Israel in central Syria targeting the Shayrat air base killed two soldiers and wounded three.

As a rule, Israel’s military does not comment on specific strikes in Syria, but 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.

Israeli strikes have continued in Syrian airspace, which is largely controlled by Russia, even as Jerusalem’s ties with Moscow have deteriorated in recent months. Israel has found itself at odds with Russia as it has increasingly supported Ukraine while seeking to maintain freedom of movement in Syria’s skies.

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