Syria has reported Israeli missile strikes on various targets in its coastal region, which it said had killed one civilian and injured others.
It comes two weeks after a missile fired by Syria struck deep inside Israel, setting off air raid sirens near the country’s top-secret nuclear reactor.
A military source, quoted by Syrian state media outlet SANA, said “the Israeli enemy carried out an air attack from southwestern Latakia, targeting positions in the coastal area”.
Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes on Syrian territory since the start of the civil war in 2011, mainly targeting Iran-backed militias and Lebanese Hezbollah.
The strikes have intensified since last autumn. On January 13 this year, air raids on weapons stores and military sites in eastern Syria led to the deaths of at least 57 pro-Syrian regime and pro-Iran fighters.
Israel views the presence of pro-Iran militant groups near its northern border as a red line and has repeatedly hit Iran-linked facilities and weapons convoys in recent months.
In late March 2021, the country’s warplanes launched multiple air raids targeting weapons shipments from Tehran to Damascus International Airport. On April 6, another 15 people were killed in an Israeli air raid on a weapons factory near Al-Hama in the Damascus countryside.
But attacks in the Latakia region, a stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad’s family, are still relatively rare. The Syrian air defence system was activated to counter the Israeli “missiles”, SANA also reported, and “some of them were shot down”.
“The Israeli aggression resulted in the death of a civilian and six injuries, including a child and his mother,” the news agency’s source said, also reporting material damage to a plastic manufacturing site.
In September 2018 Syrian air defence mistakenly shot down a Russian plane, killing the soldiers on board.