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Airstrike Attributed To Israel Kills Nine Iran-Backed Forces in Syria

An Israeli F16 fighter jet takes off during a joint international aerial training exercise. FILE PHOTO

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says airstrikes attributed to Israel has killed at least nine "Iranian-backed" forces in the Syrian province of Hama.

The airstrikes were conducted on Thursday evening, June 4, during which missiles were fired at workshops linked to the Syrian army's Military Industries Complex.

"Anti-aircraft defense systems have been activated in Hama, responding to 'Israeli aggression,'" Syria's official news agency, SANA, reported Thursday evening. "Loud explosions" have been heard in the suburbs of the city of Masyaf.

Meanwhile, SANA claimed that the missiles were intercepted, and "the enemy" failed to achieve its targets.

The director of the London-based Observatory, Rami Abdulrahman, told AFP the area was under the Syrian army’s control and Iranians were present there."

He also said the target was a factory and research center manufacturing short-range surface-to-surface rockets.

At least nine Iranian-backed forces, five other individuals and four Syrian citizens were killed in the attack, Abdulrahman maintained. He has not identified the nationality of the other five.

Israel, which did not immediately comment on the reports, has launched hundreds of strikes in Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011, AFP reported.

The recent airstrikes, like the similar ones in the past few months, have been carried out by firing missiles from the Lebanese airspace without the need to enter Syria.

Earlier, the Lebanese army had announced on Thursday that seven Israeli fighter jets violated the country's airspace. The Lebanese government once again accused Israel of "abusing" the country's airspace for airstrikes on Syria, asserting it violates the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701.

While Israel has made no comments on such airstrikes, its local media say that the attack was aimed at cracking down on plans to build precision rockets at Syrian military workshops.

According to the Jerusalem Post (JP), the latest attacks targeted the Musayyaf Military Defense Industries Factory in northeastern Syria, which had previously been the subject of "Israeli attacks."

JP maintains that Iranian military experts are assisting their Syrian counterparts to manufacture surface-to-surface missiles.