Four Hezbollah members reportedly killed in alleged Israeli Syria strike

Israel launched missile strikes against targets in northern Syria early on Friday, according to Reuters.

The report cited a Syrian military source as saying that the strikes originated from the direction of Beirut, and triggered Syria’s air-defense systems.

Lebanese Defense Minister Zeina Akar condemned the alleged Israeli attack, saying that it “blatantly violated Lebanon’s airspace at low altitude, causing a state of panic among citizens,” according to the report. She called on the United Nations to prevent Israel from launching airstrikes against Syria from Lebanese airspace.

Fadi Alhassan, acting general manager for Lebanon’s civil aviation authority, said that a Middle East Airlines flight from Abu Dhabi had to hold in Syrian airspace for about 10 minutes before landing in Beirut, as did a plane from Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines, due to the attack.

According to the U.K.-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which has activists on the ground in Syria, four members of the Lebanese Shi’ite terrorist group Hezbollah were killed in the attacks.

The strikes targeted Hezbollah weapons depots and military outposts near Qarah in Dimashq Governorate close to the Syria-Lebanon border, according to SOHR. According to the monitor group, Hezbollah is known to be active in the area, which is a popular route for fuel smugglers.

On Aug. 18, Syrian state media reported that Israel had struck a target near Hader in the northern Quneitra Governorate. Hader lies just east of the Druze town of Majdal Shams in the Israeli Golan Heights. No casualties were reported. After the strike, the Israeli military dropped leaflets on Syrian military positions warning the Syrian military to cease its cooperation with Hezbollah, according to the report.

The leaflets, which were dropped on Syrian military positions, singled out Hajj Jawad Hashem, the head of Hezbollah’s “Golan File” in Syria, Israel’s Kan news reported.

The Israel Defense Forces did not comment on the reports.

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