Israeli air raids kill nine Syria regime loyalists: monitor
Those killed were either "part of the regime forces or (allied) Iranian forces," the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. The toll of nine dead could rise as some people were seriously injured in the raids, it added.
Residents in neighboring Lebanon reported hearing the Israeli warplanes flying at low altitude over parts of the Mediterranean country, according to AP.
Syrian forces fired anti-aircraft systems in response to the deadly attack in Hama, the Observatory reported. There were explosions and an unspecified number of casualties in the Masyaf area, after the Israeli air raid against regime positions, the group reported.
"The area is under the Syrian army's control and Iranians are present there," said Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman.
He said the target was a factory and research centre producing short-range surface-to-surface rockets.
"Our air defence systems responded to an Israeli attack over Masyaf in rural Hama," state news agency SANA reported.
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.
The latest attack follows a series of airstrikes in Syria in the past few weeks, despite the coronavirus pandemic gripping the region, and comes amid rising tensions between Israel and Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group in Syria, as well as along the Lebanon-Israel border.
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Syria has accused Israel of carrying out at least seven airstrikes in the past two months alone, believed to have targeted Iranian and proxy interests.
On Wednesday, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said Israel violated Lebanon's sovereignty by land, sea and air over 1,000 times in the last five months.
In the past, Israel has acknowledged carrying out scores of airstrikes over the years, most of them aimed at alleged Iranian weapons shipments believed to be bound for Hezbollah. In recent months, Israeli officials have expressed concern that Hezbollah is trying to establish production facilities to make precision guided missiles.
Last month, an Israeli airstrike on a military position near Masyaf wounded six soldiers and destroyed several buildings, SANA reported.
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