Israel ‘launches attack on Syria’ after low-flying planes terrorize Beirut residents
Israel was reported to have launched air strikes against military targets in Syria last night after warplanes flew low over Lebanon, terrorizing local residents. The state Arab-Syrian news agency (SANA) cited a military source blaming Israeli “aggression” for launching a “missile dam” from the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli towards Masyaf, in the Syrian province of Hama. The source said most of the missiles had been intercepted by Syrian air defenses, but the Syrian Human Rights Observatory, a UK-based war monitor, said a warehouse and missile factories had been destroyed, with “at least” six victims. Explosions were reported after midnight in the area around Masyaf, northwest of Homs, which is a significant military area for President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, containing a military academy and a scientific research center believed to have been used to create chemical weapons. The Israeli military said they would not comment on news from foreign media, but have reportedly launched dozens of attacks on Iranian militias and other targets in Syria in recent years, with jets regularly crossing Lebanese airspace. Witnesses said Christmas Eve flights were noisier than normal, scaring residents of Beirut, who are still traumatized by the August 4 explosion at the city’s port, which killed more than 200 people. The catastrophic explosion, which destroyed large areas of the city, was caused after a large stock of ammonium nitrate was ignited by a fire. Tamara Qiblawi, a CNN producer based in the Lebanese capital, shared a video that apparently showed “illegal overflights” of four Israeli jets. “You hear them very often here, but very rarely see them,” she added. “They were exceptionally low altitudes. The houses shook. The cats went crazy. Chills down people’s spines. “Citing” reliable sources “, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the” Israeli attacks targeted military posts for regime forces and Iranian militias “. Syrian activists observed ambulances rushing to the site of the explosions and the dead were all foreign paramilitaries loyal to President Assad, he added. An attack also targeted the research center, where ground-attack missiles are developed and stored, and which has been hit several times by Israeli attacks in recent years, the Observatory said. The most recent attack in June killed nine people, including four Syrians. The United States military previously claimed that sarin gas, a deadly nerve agent, was being developed at the center, which Syrian officials denied. According to the SANA report, air defenses hit “most” of the missiles before they hit the target. “Our air defenses intercepted an Israeli attack in the Masyaf area,” the document said.