Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Israel leads nearly 20 air raids in Syria: War Monitor | Conflict News

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More than 18 Israeli attacks against several targets near the Syrian-Iraqi border have taken place, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Nighttime Israeli raids targeting arms depots and military positions in eastern Syria killed at least seven Syrian soldiers and 16 Allied fighters, in the deadliest raids since 2018, a war observer said on Wednesday.

The Israeli Air Force has carried out more than 18 attacks against multiple targets in an area stretching from the eastern town of Deir Az Zor to the al-Bukamal desert on the Syrian-Iraqi border, the Syrian Observatory of human rights.

The raids killed seven Syrian soldiers and 16 non-Syrian militia fighters whose nationalities were not immediately known, the Britain-based watch group said.

Paramilitaries belonging to the Lebanese movement of Hezbollah and the Fatimid Brigade, made up of pro-Iranian Afghan fighters, are operating in the region, the Observatory said.

The raids also injured 28 soldiers and militiamen, some seriously.

The Israeli military did not immediately comment.

The Syrian state news agency SANA reported on the attacks, but without giving further details.

“At 1h10 [23:10 GMT], the Israeli enemy carried out an air assault on the town of Deir Ezzor and the Al Bukamal region, ”SANA said, citing a military source.

“The results of the assault are currently being verified,” he added.

Local news source DeirEzzor24 said a number of warehouses and sites belonging to pro-Iranian militias were affected in the region.

Warplane bombs over Syria near the Israeli-Syrian border as seen from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on July 24, 2018 [File: Ammar Awad/Reuters]

Routine raids

The attacks were the second wave of Israeli raids in Syria in less than a week.

The latest air raids on January 7 targeted positions in southern Syria and south of the capital Damascus, killing three pro-Iran fighters.

Israel regularly conducts raids in Syria, mostly against Iran-affiliated targets in what it says is an attempt to prevent its nemesis from gaining a foothold along its borders.

According to Israeli media, the area that came under fire has been hit by Israel several times in recent years, as it is home to a number of bases used by Iran-backed groups. The area is also key to a land corridor for Tehran that connects Iran through Iraq and Syria via Lebanon, which Iran uses to smuggle weapons and rockets, mostly to the Hezbollah armed group. .

Iran has members of its own military as well as fighters of various nationalities who fight with militias it supports deployed across Syria.

Israel hit around 50 targets in Syria in 2020, according to an annual report released in late December by the IDF.

The Israeli military has carried out hundreds of air and missile raids on Syria since the outbreak of civil war in 2011, targeting Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces as well as government troops.



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