Airstrikes Hit Syrian Military Bases, Israel Suspected

The Iranian minister of defense at the headquarters of the “Popular Mobilization Units” alongside Abu Mahdi al Muhandis

The state-run television reported that the missiles targeted several military positions before midnight Sunday outposts in the Hama and Aleppo countryside.

An official from a regional alliance that includes Iran, Syria and Hezbollah confirmed that the strikes near Hama had hit a storage facility on the base and said they had destroyed 200 missiles and killed 16 people, including 11 Iranians.

Israel has accused Iran of building a military infrastructure in Syria, repeatedly bombing targets that it says are part of Iranian efforts to increase the military abilities of its allies near Israel's borders.

Later reports by some media outlets suggested that the missile attack had targeted what they called Iranian military bases and that Iranians were killed as a result.

We review the key developments in Syria, including a suspected Israeli missile attack on a Syrian army base in northern Syria, heightened government attacks on a rebel enclave near Homs and rebels south of Damascus reach an evacuation deal with the Syrian government.

Israeli and U.S. officials have in recent weeks drawn renewed attention to cargo flights between Syria and Iran and suspicions that they are carrying weapons bound for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's regime and Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Shiite militia.

Syria remains technically at war with neighbouring Israel, which is concerned at the growing presence of Iranian forces and those of Tehran's Lebanese ally Hezbollah on Syrian territory.

The Haaretz daily reported that Israel has made clear to Russian Federation and the USA that it will strike back if Iran attempts to attack it from Syrian territory, and will return fire in Iran if Israeli population centers are hit. Seven Iranian soldiers were among 14 military personnel killed in that attack. At the same time, the defense Minister of Israel Avigdor Lieberman in the United States has declared that Israel is "at any price" to stop the strengthening of Iran in Syria.

The Observatory said rockets also hit Syrian government bases in the region surrounding Nairab military airport, which is close to Aleppo International Airport. Israel hopes the United States will tear up the deal, allowing sanctions to be intensified and forcing Iran to concentrate on its diplomatic woes and mounting protests at home rather than project its influence into Syria. "Israel will not allow the opening of a northern front in Syria".

According to the Observatory, the death toll could rise as the attack also wounded 60 fighters and there were several others still missing. The Israeli government does not generally take credit for airstrikes, and Israel and Iran are sworn enemies. An escalation of tension between Israel and Iran can lead to President Trump's administration to advance his predictable decision to withdraw from atomic pact.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups now controlling parts of it. But Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, said Israel was likely behind the strikes.

Third, the latest strike was carried out at a time when the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is visiting the region, and just a few hours after he held talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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