Israeli airstrikes on Iranian-backed groups in Syria killed dozens of people last night. This is according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an organization that continues the war in Syria with the help of local sources. The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a Iraqi police recruiting center.
According to the Syrian state news agency SANA, the attacks took place early in the night in various places, including the city of Deir ez-Zor in the east of the country.
Israel did not respond to a request for comment. Minister Jazzy Hanekbi only wanted to say on the radio that Israel was incessantly attacking targets in Syria, “if our intelligence hears it.”
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The lab said 57 people were killed in the attacks. The victims are said to include 14 Syrian soldiers and several members of Iranian-backed militias. Dozens were reported injured. Numbers not confirmed.
According to a US official, Israel has coordinated airstrikes with the United States, according to the Andhra News Agency. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly discussed the attack with Mossad, the head of the Israeli secret service.
‘Iranian troop formation delayed’
According to anonymous sources in the AP, the bombing targeted the arsenals of armed groups backed by Iran. This would have been one of the worst Israeli attacks in recent months.
Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes on targets in Syria in recent years, but rarely responds to separate reports. Last month, the most senior Israeli military said that Israel had reduced its build-up of Iranian troops in Syria.
The Israeli government views Iran as its worst enemy and says it wants to prevent Tehran from further strengthening its influence on the Syrian border. Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Penny Kants visited the Syrian border, saying that Israel would continue to take action “near and far” against its adversaries.
The attacks come at the end of Donald Trump’s presidency. Like Israel, the US leader is in favor of severe repression of Iran. Under his leadership, the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran, and Iranian General Sholaymani was assassinated. President-elect Biden appears to be open to new talks with Iran, something Israel opposes.