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Middle East: 44 dead in suspected Israeli air strikes in Syria

Middle East: 44 dead in suspected Israeli air strikes in Syria

An airstrike in Syria kills members of the Lebanese Hezbollah and Syrian soldiers. Is Israel responsible for this? The exact extent of the attacks is still unclear.

According to activists, at least 44 people were killed in heavy air strikes in northwestern Syria. In addition to Syrian military personnel, at least seven members of the Lebanese Hezbollah militia were among the dead, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights based in Great Britain.

The suspected Israeli attacks took place in the morning and focused on targets around the provincial capital Aleppo. More than 100 people were injured in the airstrikes, many of whom were in critical condition, it said.

Israel’s air force repeatedly bombs targets in neighboring Syria in an attempt to prevent Iran and its allied militias such as Hezbollah from expanding their military influence in the country. Israeli attacks have increased since the Gaza war began in early October. However, such high numbers of victims are rare.

No comment from Israel

When asked, the Israeli army said it did not want to comment on the reports. Hezbollah released the names of three members killed in a statement, without providing further details. However, Hezbollah circles said that they were killed in the attacks.

The Syrian state news agency Sana reported, citing a military source, that civilians as well as military personnel were killed and wounded in the attacks. Neither Sana nor Syrian television gave an exact number of victims. They blamed Israel for the bombings.

Information from the civil war country cannot be independently verified. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is considered to be particularly well networked.

More attacks in Syria since the Gaza war

Israel’s air force repeatedly bombs targets in neighboring Syria in an attempt to prevent Iran and its allied militias such as Hezbollah from expanding their military influence in the country. Israeli attacks have increased since the Gaza war began in early October. However, such high numbers of victims are rare.

According to the Observatory, the attacks in Aleppo targeted, among other things, a rocket depot of the Shiite organization Hezbollah near the international airport and factories of the Syrian arms industry not far from the provincial capital. The head of the Observatory, Rami Abdel-Rahman, spoke of the deadliest Israeli air strikes in three years.

Eyewitnesses from the province reported heavy smoke in the bombed areas and dozens of ambulances rushing to the sites. Syrian government troops sealed off the areas.

Civil war in Syria continues to this day

In Syria, in March 2011, numerous people took to the streets against the government as a result of the Arab uprisings. The security forces used violence against the demonstrators. This led to a civil war with international involvement that continues to this day. Both the Lebanese Hezbollah and Iran’s government, along with Russia, are considered the most important supporters of the Syrian government under ruler Bashar al-Assad. Around two thirds of the country is now under government control again.

The Israeli army said it had killed a high-ranking member of the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon. The army said Ali Abed Achsan Naim was the deputy commander of Hezbollah’s missile division. Lebanon borders both Israel and Syria. Since the outbreak of the Gaza war, the Israeli army and Hezbollah have been fighting in the border area. Hezbollah claimed at least three rocket attacks on Israeli targets.

Source: Stern

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