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Israel strike on Syria wounds two civilians: ministry

July 2, 2022 07:30 PM


An Israeli air strike wounded two civilians on Saturday in the Syrian government's heartland on the war-torn country's west coast, the defence ministry said.

"The Israeli enemy carried out an air strike" after daybreak near the town of Al-Hamidiyah, the ministry said, identifying the locations hit as poultry farms, without elaborating.

The strike was conducted from the Mediterranean Sea, west of Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli, and "led to the injury of two civilians, including a woman", it said in a statement.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said the facility that was struck had formerly been used to keep farm animals but was now used by Lebanon's Shiite militant movement Hezbollah, a Syrian government ally.

The Israeli army told AFP on Saturday that they "do not comment on reports in the foreign media".

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian of Iran, also a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, condemned the Israeli strike.

"With its attacks, the Zionist entity is trying to portray Damascus as an unsafe city to obstruct the return of displaced Syrians," he said on Saturday during a visit to the Syrian capital.

Video footage by Syrian's official news agency SANA showed rubble at what it said was the site of the targeted facility.

People are seen inspecting the site, where pulverised chunks of concrete and iron lay on the earth in the middle of a field.

Al-Hamidiyah is located south of Tartus, a bastion of the Syrian government and home to a naval port used by Russia, whose armed forces have backed Assad.

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

The raids have targeted Syrian government troops as well as allied Iran-backed forces and Hezbollah fighters.

Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said Saturday's strike targeted "warehouses formerly used to raise animals, and which the Lebanese Hezbollah group was using to transport weapons".

Syrian air defence systems did not appear to have been deployed, said the British-based monitor, which has a wide network of sources in Syria.

Last month Israeli strikes on Damascus International Airport rendered its runways unusable for weeks.

Besides the extensive damage caused to civilian and military runways, the monitor said the strikes had targeted nearby warehouses used as weapons depots by Iran and Hezbollah.

The Syrian war has claimed the lives of nearly half a million people and forced around half of the country's pre-war population from their homes.



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