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DAMASCUS/AMMAN: Eleven Syrian regime fighters were killed in Israeli air strikes on Homs province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Syria’s air defense system had been activated against an “Israeli aggression” within Syria, state news agency Sana said late Tuesday.

Israeli planes flew through Lebanese air space, the report added.

The Britain-based war monitor, reported “violent explosions felt in Damascus and around the city, followed by Israeli strikes on military positions” of the Syrian army.

“Air strikes also took place in the south of Homs province and in the border zone between Homs and Tartus,” Observatory chief Rami Abdul Rahman told AFP.
The target of the reported Israeli attacks were not immediately clear. The attacks are the first reported since the re-election of Syrian President Bashar Assad for a fourth seven-year term.
The Israeli army, which rarely acknowledges its strikes in Syria, told AFP it would not comment on “information coming from abroad.”
Since the start of the war in neighboring Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes on Syrian territory, targeting regime positions as well as Iranian forces and members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement.

Western intelligence sources said Israel’s stepped-up strikes on Syria since last year are part of a shadow war approved by the United States.
The intelligence sources said that Israel has over the past year expanded its targets across Syria, where thousands of Iranian-backed militias have been involved in regaining much of the territory lost by Assad to insurgents in a nearly decade-old civil war.
The reported attacks are also the first after a fragile truce between Israel and Hamas’ militant rulers in the Gaza Strip following an 11-day conflict that killed more than 250 people, most of them Palestinian.
(With AFP, AP and Reuters)


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