Syrian army says Israel hits several bases across country
By Suleiman Al-Khalidi
AMMAN (Reuters) - The Syrian army responded to Israeli strikes in southern, central and eastern Syria, in which two soldiers were killed. The army said Tuesday that military defectors and intelligence sources reported a wave of raids on Iranian bases.
The army said Israeli jets had hit one of the Army's outposts in Salamiya and another in Sabura towns in Hama province, just hours after missiles hit other military facilities in Deir al Zor province along the border with Iraq and southern Syria near the Border with Jordan.
Earlier, an army statement said that several attacks occurred simultaneously, one at a military outpost in Kabajib, east of Deir Zor province, and near the city of Sukhna in the nearby eastern desert. A third strike hit a military facility further south in the city of Salkhad near the southern city of Sweida. Two soldiers died and four were wounded.
The bases are in areas in eastern and southern Syria that Israel had hit in the past few months and where militias strongly supported by Iranians are believed to be represented.
A senior Syrian military defector and a regional intelligence source said an Iranian weapons depot near the city of Salamiya was set on fire after being repeatedly bombed while a command center led by Iranian militias in the city of Sabura was also badly damaged.
The Israeli army declined to comment.
According to regional intelligence sources, Israel's strikes against Syria are part of a shadow war approved by Washington and part of the anti-Iran policy that has undermined Iran's extensive military power in the past two years without triggering a major increase in hostility.
Israel has admitted to having carried out many raids in Syria since the beginning of the civil war in 2011. Israeli defense officials have said in the past few weeks that Israel will step up its campaign against Iran in Syria, where Tehran has expanded its raids with the help of its proxy militias.
(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi in Amman Additional reporting by Rami Ayoub in Jerusalem; editing by Matthew Lewis and Grant McCool)
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