Report: Israel Air Force Strikes Hezbollah, Regime Facilities in Syria

According to Syrian-opposition media, two facilities were attacked late Friday evening in the first Israeli strike in Syria since Russia joined conflict.

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Lebanon's Hezbollah fighters in the Qalamoun region after they advanced in the area May 15, 2015.
Lebanon's Hezbollah fighters in the Qalamoun region after they advanced in the area May 15, 2015.Credit: Reuters
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

The Israeli air force attacked facilities belonging to the Syrian regime and to Hezbollah forces on Friday in the Al-Qalamoun mountains in Syria, near the Lebanon border, sources in the Syrian opposition reported on Saturday.

According to Syria Mubasher, an opposition-affiliated news site, the warplanes struck a military facility near the town of Ras al-Ein and another site at the al-Qatifa area, at 11 P.M. Friday. It is still unknown what damage was caused and whether there were any casualties.

If the reports are true, this would be the first time Israeli warplanes struck in Syria since Russia launched its aerial campaign in the war-torn country last month. 

According to the report, the Israeli planes arrived from Lebanese airspace. Lebanese websites reported on Friday evening that Israeli planes have been spotted over Lebanon.

The Syrian regime and Hezbollah have yet to issue a response.

Late in September, the Israeli and Russian chiefs of staff met in Moscow and agreed to form a joint committee to coordinate their militaries' activities in Syria. The committee, which will be headed by the countries' deputy chiefs of staff, would coordinate both naval and aerial activities, as well as electro-magnetic activities, to avoid interference in electronic warfare, a senior Israeli officer told reporters. 

Friday's alleged Israeli strikes were not the first time Israel reportedly attacked in the Qalamoun area. Last April, Israeli warplanes reportedly attacked Syrian army bases where Hezbollah stored long-range missiles in the same area. Though the IDF would not confirm or deny the  allegation, saying they do not comment on foreign reports, an Israeli source denied the report, saying the attack was part of the fighting between Nusra Front, Hezbollah and Assad's army in the Qalamoun region. Israel has no interest in getting involved in the conflict between the sides, he said. 

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