DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian air defences responded to an Israeli attack near a central town on Thursday that caused explosions and a large fire in the area, state-run media said.
According to the Syrian news agency SANA, the Israeli airstrike occurred near the town of Masyaf in the Hama countryside. There was no immediate word on casualties or damage from the attack.
Residents in neighbouring Lebanon reported hearing the Israeli warplanes flying at low altitude over parts of the Mediterranean country, on their way to bomb in Syria.
The airstrike is the latest in a series of Israeli attacks in Syria in the past few weeks, despite the coronavirus pandemic gripping the region, and comes amid rising tensions between Israel and Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group in Syria, as well as along the Lebanon-Israel border.
Syria has accused Israel of carrying out at least seven airstrikes in the past two months alone, believed to have targetted Iranian and proxy interests.
On Wednesday, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said Israel violated Lebanon’s sovereignty by land, sea and air over 1,000 times in the last five months.
There was no immediate comment from Israel on Thursday’s reported strike in Syria. In the past, Israel has acknowledged carrying out scores of airstrikes over the years, most of them aimed at alleged Iranian weapons shipments believed to be bound for Hezbollah. In recent months, Israeli officials have expressed concern that Hezbollah is trying to establish production facilities to make precision guided missiles.
Last month, an Israeli airstrike on a military position near Masyaf wounded six soldiers and destroyed several buildings, SANA reported.