June 4, 2020 / 8:01 PM / a month ago

Syria says Israeli jets flying over Lebanon raid military base in Hama province

AMMAN (Reuters) - Syria state media said Thursday Israeli jets flying over Lebanon hit military targets in northwestern Hama province causing only material damage, in Israel’s latest escalation of raids in the last few months.

Earlier state media said Syrian army air defences thwarted an unidentified missile attack on a city in northwestern Hama province, state media said on Thursday.

The news flash on state television said the missiles hit the outskirts of Misyaf city. Israel has in the last two months stepped up its strikes on suspected Iranian targets inside Syria.

Asked about the missile attack, an Israeli military spokeswoman declined comment.

Western intelligence sources said Israel had escalated raids in Syria at a time when world is distracted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Iranian-backed militias have long been entrenched near Misyaf where they have bases, part of a growing presence across government-controlled Syria, they added.

Israel has acknowledged it has conducted many raids inside Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011 where it views Iranian presence as a strategic threat.

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Additional reporting by Maayan Lubell in Jerusalem

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