Israeli strikes on Syria kill 38, including 5 Hezbollah members

Israeli strikes on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo early on Friday killed 38 people, including five members of the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah, two security sources said, the deadliest attacks so far in an intensified Israeli campaign against Iran’s allies in Syria.

Israel has ramped up its airstrikes on both Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in Syria since the October 7 incursion by Iran-backed Palestinian faction Hamas into Israel.

Tehran and its proxies have entrenched themselves across Syria, including around Aleppo and the capital Damascus.

Israel has repeatedly struck international airports in both cities over the years to disrupt weapons flows to Iran’s allies in the region, but strikes since October 7 have been deadlier and prompted Iran to withdraw some of its top officers from Syria.

Syria’s defence ministry said Israeli strikes hit several areas in the southeastern part of Aleppo province around 1:45 am (local time), killing a number of civilians and military personnel.

It said the airstrikes coincided with drone attacks carried out from Idlib and western rural Aleppo that the ministry described as having been conducted by “terrorist organisations” against civilians in Aleppo and its surroundings.

The Israeli military declined to comment.

Three security sources told Reuters that five Hezbollah members were among the dead. One of them was a local field commander whose brother was killed in an Israeli strike on southern Lebanon in November, one of the sources said.

Israel and Hezbollah have been trading fire across Lebanon’s southern border in parallel with the Gaza war. More than 270 Hezbollah members and 50 civilians, including medics, civilians and journalists, have been killed in Israeli strikes on southern Lebanon.

About a dozen Israeli troops and half as many civilians have been killed in northern Israel.

It marks the biggest escalation since the two heavily-armed foes fought a month-long war in 2006. A United Nations resolution put an end to that war, but diplomatic efforts have so far failed to bring an end to current cross-border shelling.

Published By:

Prateek Chakraborty

Published On:

Mar 29, 2024

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