Middle East

Israel raids inside Syria since 2013

FILE - In this Monday, Nov 25, 2013, file photo, technicians inspect an Israeli air force F-16 jet at the Ovda airbase near Eilat, southern Israel. The Israeli military says it has shot down an Iranian drone that infiltrated the country and has struck Iranian targets in Syria that launched it. The military says that as part of the unusual event one of its F-16 jets crashed in northern Israel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)

BEIRUT: Israel is believed to have carried out several raids inside Syria since 2013, mostly targeting its Lebanese arch-foe Hezbollah, a key ally of the Syrian government.

On Saturday the Israeli military said it had carried out "large-scale" raids including against Iranian targets in Syria.

Here is a recap of notable strikes inside Syria that are said to have been carried out by Israel:

- 2018 - In a major increase in tensions, Israel on February 10 struck a dozen Syrian and Iranian targets.

The raids came after an Israeli fighter jet crashed under fire from Syrian air defences, and Israel said it intercepted an Iranian drone entering its airspace from Syria.

The confrontation was the first time Israel publicly acknowledged attacking what it identified as Iranian targets in Syria since the civil war began in 2011.

- 2017 - A huge explosion that sent a fireball into the sky near the Damascus international airport in April was blamed by Syrian state media on an Israeli missile strike.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said an arms depot that apparently belonged to Hezbollah was hit and exploded.

Damascus also accused Israel of bombing in January its Mazzeh military airport near the capital where air force intelligence services were based.

- 2016 - Israeli aircraft repeatedly struck Syrian army positions in September after a projectile fired from Syria hit the Israeli-held zone of the Golan. Missiles struck near Mazzeh in December.

- 2015 - An Israeli strike on the Syrian side of the Golan killed six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general on January 18. Hezbollah retaliated by killing two Israeli soldiers.

In August Israel said it carried out strikes on the Syrian side of the Golan area after rockets were fired on its positions. Four or five of the men responsible were killed, it said.

Hezbollah figure Samir Kantar, who had spent almost 30 years in Israeli prisons, was killed in an Israeli raid near Damascus in December.

- 2014 - Israel staged retaliatory air raids on Syrian army positions in June, following an attack from Syria, and in September downed a Syrian fighter jet as it tried to cross the Golan ceasefire line.

- 2013 - In January Israeli planes hit a surface-to-air missile site and military complex near Damascus suspected of holding chemical agents. Israel said later it would not allow the transfer of weapons from Syria to Hezbollah.

Raids in May struck a scientific research centre in the capital, a weapons depot and an aircraft unit, according to a diplomat in Beirut. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 42 soldiers were killed.

 

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