Wed, 17 Aug 2022

Shelling came a few hours before senior Iranian diplomat was due to arrive in Syria

Syria's Defense Ministry has accused Israel of having injured two civilians in an airstrike on a village near the western port city of Tartus on Saturday.

The military said Israeli warplanes flying over northern Lebanon had fired missiles toward several chicken farms in the village of Hamidiyeh, south of Tartus. The attack occurred a few kilometers north of the border with Lebanon in the early morning.

According to Damascus, shelling also caused some damage to civilian infrastructure.

The Israeli military, in line with long-standing practice, has refused to comment on the alleged strike.

The apparent attack took place hours before Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian was due to arrive in Syria for talks with key Syrian officials.

Israel has struck numerous targets in Syria in recent years with the aim of reducing the influence of its arch-rival Iran. Tehran has been one of the key supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad. According to the Wall Street Journal's sources, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been coordinating their attacks on Syrian targets with the Pentagon and US Central Command.

Last month an airstrike, allegedly by Israel, disabled Damascus International Airport. According to the reports, the military targeted Iranian weapons supplies, which the Islamist Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had delivered to Syria using civilian planes.

Prior to that, there were reports of shelling from sites south of the Syrian capital and in the Quneitra region of southwestern Syria.

In mid-June, Arab news portal Elaph reported that Israel had sent a message to Assad, warning him against building up military cooperation with Iran. Otherwise, Israel pledged to target one of the presidential palaces in Syria in its next raid, Elaph claimed.

Syrian authorities have protested the raids believed to be by the IDF, saying they violate the country's sovereignty and international law. Damascus also considers the US presence at the Al-Tanf base an illegal occupation.


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