Israel 'shells Hezbollah site in Syria'

Local reports say barrage included pamphlets warning Syrian forces against co-operating with terrorist group

A demonstrator holds portraits of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad next to the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria. EPA
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Israel shelled a site in Syria belonging to Hezbollah early on Monday morning, according to reports in state-affiliated Syrian media. No injuries have been reported.

The barrage was claimed to have taken place just across Israel's border, with Israeli forces also reportedly dropping Arabic-language pamphlets in the same area warning Syrian troops against working with Hezbollah.

Images of the purported documents on social media read: “We are closely watching and aware of the ongoing intelligence co-operation with Hezbollah within the Syrian army’s positions in the region, including near the Israeli border … co-operation with Hezbollah leads to harm!”

They also show images that appear to depict a Syrian military officer next to a Hezbollah commander, according to Israeli media.

Israel has a long-standing policy of not commenting on specific strikes in Syria, but it has on previous occasions accused Syrian President Bashar Al Assad of helping Hezbollah operate in its territory.

The news came as Israel's public broadcaster Kan reported that air defence systems in Iran were triggered in the centre of the country. Social media sources said that they were activated to intercept a drone.

Last week, reports emerged of Israeli artillery striking sites near allegedly fired at on Monday morning, and dropping similar leaflets.

At the beginning of April, Israel downed a suspected Iranian drone that was launched from Syrian territory.

Days later, tit-for-tat strikes were exchanged between both countries, as Ramadan tensions mounted after footage emerged of Israeli forces beating people who had locked themselves in Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

Israel said that the worshippers were stockpiling weapons to use against Israelis who were planning to visit the site, on which Al Aqsa Mosque stands, in an area that is sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

Updated: April 24, 2023, 12:04 PM