Friday, 19 August, 2022

Two civilians injured in Israeli strike on Syria

DAMASCUS: An Israeli strike wounded two civilians on Saturday in the Syrian government's heartland on the war-torn country's west coast, reports AFP.

"The Israeli enemy carried out an air strike" at about 6:30 am (0330 GMT) near the town of Al-Hamidiyah, the defence ministry said in a statement, identifying the locations hit as poultry farms, without elaborating.

The strike was conducted from the Mediterranean Sea, west of Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli, and "led to the injury of two civilians, including a woman", the ministry said in a statement.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said the facility that was struck had formerly been used to keep farm animals but was now used by Lebanon's Shiite militant movement Hezbollah, a Syrian government ally.

Al-Hamidiyah is located south of Tartus, a bastion of the Syrian government and home to a naval port used by Russia, whose armed forces have backed the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes against its northern neighbour.

The raids have targeted Syrian government troops as well as allied Iran-backed forces and fighters from Hezbollah.

Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the air strike on Saturday targeted "warehouses formerly used to raise animals, and which the Lebanese Hezbollah group was using to transport weapons".

Syrian air defence systems do not appear to have been deployed, said the British-based monitor, which has a wide network of sources inside Syria.

Last month Israeli strikes on Damascus International Airport rendered its runways unusable for weeks.

Besides the extensive damage caused to civilian and military runways, the monitor said the strikes had targeted nearby warehouses used as weapons depots by Iran and Hezbollah.

The Syrian war has claimed the lives of nearly half a million people and forced around half of the country's pre-war population from their homes.