A rare daytime alleged Israeli airstrike targeted sites near Masyaf in northwestern Syria on Saturday afternoon, according to Syrian reports.
The airstrikes were carried out from over northern Lebanon, with Syrian air defenses responding to the strikes, according to Syrian state news site SANA. According to SANA, only material damage was caused.
Video reportedly from the scene showed large plumes of smoke rising from hillsides in the area.
The Step News Agency reported that the strikes targeted sites belonging to pro-Iranian militias and scientific research sites in Masyaf.
The area of Masyaf has been a target in several attacks in recent years, mostly attributed to the Israeli Air Force (IAF). The last time an airstrike attributed to Israel targeted the area of Masyaf was in early June, when an alleged Israeli airstrike targeted chemical weapons facilities in the city and in other locations, according to The Washington Post. At least eight Syrian soldiers were killed in those strikes, according to opposition-affiliated media.
A site belonging to the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) is located in Masyaf and has been targeted by Israeli airstrikes in the past. In 2017, two soldiers were killed in an airstrike blamed on Israel, according to the BBC. The SSRC site in Masyaf was used to produce chemical weapons, according to the BBC.
The last Israeli airstrike in Syria was reported on March 7 when an alleged Israeli airstrike targeted sites near the Damascus airport and the Al-Assad suburb, with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) reporting that two of its officers were killed in the strike.
The IRGC warned a few days after the attack that “the Zionist regime will undoubtedly pay the price for such a crime.”
Last month, Russian Ambassador to Syria Alexander Efimov warned that Israeli strikes in Syria are “provoking” Russia to react, in one of the strongest Russian condemnations of Israeli operations in Syria.
Efimov additionally complained that Israeli strikes aim to “escalate tensions and allow the West to carry out military activities in Syria.”