Israel blamed for daytime strikes targeting Syria

The strike targeted sites near the coastal city of Tartus‎.

Missile fire is seen from Damascus, Syria May 10, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS/OMAR SANADIKI)
Missile fire is seen from Damascus, Syria May 10, 2018.

Two Syrian civilians were wounded in an alleged Israeli airstrike targeting sites near the coastal city of Tartus, the Syrian military said Saturday morning.

According to a military source quoted by SANA state media, several missiles were fired from over the Mediterranean Sea at around 6:30 in the morning. The missiles targeted “several poultry farms in the vicinity of Hamadiyah, south of Tartus,” the source said. 

The missiles injured two civilians, including a woman, and caused some material damage.

Hamas, which recently reconciled with the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad after a decade of being shunned over its opposition to his crackdown on civilians during the civil war, condemned the strikes.

“The occupation's attack on Syria is criminal behavior and an extension of its aggression, which does not stop against our people and our nation,” the Gaza-based terror group said.

Tartus, along with the Hmeimim air base in the nearby province of Latakia, are the main Russian bases in the country. 

Russia is enormously influential in Syria, where it intervened in 2015 on the side of Assad. Israel and Russia have a deconfliction mechanism in place in order to make sure that Moscow is informed ahead of Israeli action. 

 Missile fire is seen over Damascus, Syria January 21, 2019.  (credit: SANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS) Missile fire is seen over Damascus, Syria January 21, 2019. (credit: SANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Nevertheless, the rare daytime strikes come as Israel has ramped up its war-between-war campaign, targeting dozens of sites in Syria over the past month.

Prior airstrikes

In early June, strikes targeting runways at Damascus International Airport disabled the entire airport for several weeks. Satellite images showed significant damage to the runways, with three impact craters on both the military and civilian ones. 

Russia condemned airstrikes on the airport, with Foreign Minister Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova saying that such actions put civilian airlines and civilians in danger.

"We are compelled to reiterate that the ongoing Israeli shelling of the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic, in violation of the basic norms of international law, is absolutely unacceptable," she said at the time. "We strongly condemn Israel's provocative attack on the most important object of the Syrian civilian infrastructure.

Another strike in early June that allegedly targeted a factory for developing Iranian weapons in the town of Aqraba, south of Damascus, killed five pro-Iranian militants and a number of Iranian engineers. The strike also completely destroyed the factory.

The following day, Syrian reports alleged that Israeli tanks targeted positions belonging to the Syrian military near El Malgah in the Quneitra region of southwestern Syria.

Israel has warned repeatedly about Iran’s nuclear ambitions as well as aspirations of regional hegemony and has admitted to hundreds of airstrikes as part of its campaign to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon and the entrenchment of its forces in Syria where they could easily act against the Jewish state.

According to IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi, Jerusalem has ramped up its campaign, carrying out in the past two months alone a double-digit amount of strikes throughout the Middle East as part of the Mabam.

Not only have the strikes in Syria destroyed an immeasurable amount of advanced and strategic weaponry, but Iran’s air, land and sea corridors didn’t function for 70% of 2021 due to operations carried out as part of the campaign.

The strikes come on the backdrop of growing tensions with Hezbollah and Iran in Syria, and the weight of the pressure being imposed on the Islamic Republic from Western leaders, chiefly the International Atomic Energy Agency's resolution to censure Tehran for nuclear violations.