Syria | At least 36 Syrian soldiers killed in Israeli strike

(Beirut) At least 36 Syrian soldiers were killed in an Israeli strike which targeted the Aleppo region, in northern Syria, at dawn on Friday, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH). ).

According to this NGO based in the United Kingdom and which has a vast network of sources in Syria, the strike notably targeted “missile depots belonging to Lebanese Hezbollah”, which fights alongside the Syrian regime.

“At least 36 soldiers were killed and dozens injured in Israeli raids” which targeted an area near Aleppo airport, the NGO said.

This is the heaviest toll for the Syrian army in Israeli strikes since the start of the war in Gaza almost six months ago, according to the OSDH.

For its part, a military source cited by the official Syrian agency Sana reported “several killed and injured among civilians and soldiers” in the strikes.

“The Israeli enemy launched an air attack against different sites in Athriya, southeast of Aleppo,” the source said.

The strikes also targeted factories that fall under the Syrian Defense Ministry in Safira near Aleppo, but are currently under the control of pro-Iranian groups, according to the OSDH.

Contacted by AFP from Jerusalem, the Israeli army responded “not to comment” on these press reports.

The Israeli army has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria since the start of the war in the neighboring country, particularly targeting pro-Iranian groups.

It has intensified its strikes since the start of the war in Gaza in October 2023 between Israel and Palestinian Hamas.

At the same time, Israel and Hezbollah have engaged in daily exchanges of fire along the Israeli-Lebanese border since the start of the Gaza war.

Two dead near Damascus


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

The war in Syria has killed more than half a million people, displaced millions and divided the country.

The conflict began in 2011 with an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. It quickly descended into civil war after the regime, backed by Iran, launched a fierce crackdown on dissidents.

Lebanese Hezbollah sent fighters to Syria to support its ally and protect its supply lines with Iran, and has continued to operate in the country since then.

Iran denies sending troops to fight alongside Bashar al-Assad’s regime, saying its presence there is limited to that of military advisers.

An airstrike had already targeted a residential building in the suburbs of Damascus on Thursday, killing two civilians, according to the official Syrian news agency Sana, which blamed Israel for the attack.

The targeted area, Sayyida Zeinab, is considered a stronghold of pro-Iranian groups in Syria.

On March 19, Israeli raids had already targeted Hezbollah weapons depots in the vicinity of Damascus.

The Israeli army announced in March that it had reached “around 4,500 Hezbollah targets” in Lebanon and Syria, including “more than 1,200” by airstrikes, since the start of the war in the Gaza Strip.


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