Israeli air strikes injure 14 civilians near Syria's Hama

The missiles were aimed at rocket depots of Iran-affiliated militias in the Masyaf area

Soldiers on patrol near the city of Hama in Syria. AFP
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At least 14 civilians have been wounded in explosions caused by a series of Israeli air strikes in countryside near Hama in Syria, a war monitor said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday that the strikes were aimed at rocket depots of Iran-affiliated militias in the Masyaf area.

The watchdog, based in the UK, said it had information about casualties among the guards at the depots.

Syria's state news agency Sana reported that two civilians were wounded in Israeli air strikes on the western Hama and Tartus regions.

The strikes also caused several fires but the agency said most of the missiles had been intercepted.

The observatory said on Thursday the strikes, aimed at Iranian-aligned militia, caused "several casualties".

"Israeli strikes targeted positions and depots of arms and ammunition of Iran-affiliated militias," said the monitor, which has a network of sources in Syria, AFP reported.

It also reported several heavy explosions that sparked fires and resulted in "several victims". A Syrian air force officer was also reported missing, it said.

There was no immediate response from Israel.

Since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes against its neighbour.

While Israel rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations, it has acknowledged that it targets bases of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s allies, including Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group and other Iran-backed militias, AP reported.

In the strategic Deir Ezzor province in eastern Syria, the US military and Iran-backed militias have over the past two days exchanged attacks in a significant escalation of hostilities.

Iran denies sending troops to Syria but says its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has "military advisers" with Syrian government forces.

The latest air strikes come as parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal build momentum towards bringing back the agreement.

The conflict in Syria started with the repression of peaceful protests, then escalated, drawing in foreign powers and global extremists.

The war has killed nearly half a million people and forced about half of the country's prewar population from their homes.

Updated: August 26, 2022, 8:05 AM
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