Syria says Israeli airstrikes over Homs have killed and wounded civilians


DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Israeli airstrikes over the central city of Homs and nearby areas killed and wounded civilians, the Syrian military said Wednesday.

There was no immediate comment from Israel.

Syrian state news agency SANA quoted an unidentified military official as saying the strikes late Tuesday damaged both private and public property, without giving additional details. The Israeli jets reportedly struck the Syrian city and the countryside from over the Mediterranean Sea near the Lebanese coastal city of Tripoli.

The strikes come as tensions across the Middle East flare with the Israeli-Hamas war and a drone attack on Jan. 28 that killed three U.S. troops and injured dozens more in northeastern Jordan, near the Syrian border.

The pro-government Sham FM radio station said the areas struck included the affluent al-Malaab neighborhood and Hamra Street. It said Israel hit farmland in al-Waer, causing fires but no casualties there.

Britain-based pro-opposition war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Humanitarian Rights said at least six civilians were killed, among them a woman and a child, as well as two militants from the Lebanese Hezbollah group. The casualties were all in a building on Hamra Street that was apparently targeted in one of the strikes, it said. Search efforts were ongoing, the Observatory added.

It said at least nine explosions were heard in Homs and its outskirts, where Hezbollah is reportedly present.

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of war-torn Syria in recent years.

Israel rarely acknowledges its actions in Syria, but it has said it targets bases of Iran-allied militant groups such as Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces. It has also targeted members of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in Syria, including a high-ranking general last December.


Chehayeb reported from Beirut.

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