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Israeli air raid kills one in Syria coastal region — state media

By AFP - May 06,2021 - Last updated at May 06,2021

This handout photo released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on Wednesday, shows the scene of a reported Israeli air strike in Syria's Latakia region (AFP photo)

DAMASCUS — Israeli air strikes carried out overnight on targets in Syria's northwestern region of Latakia killed one civilian and wounded several other people, state media and a war monitor reported on Wednesday.

The Israeli authorities do not generally comment on such reports but they have previously confirmed carrying out dozens of raids in Syria, mostly against Iranian assets.

"The Israeli attack left one civilian dead and six wounded, including a boy and his mother," a military source quoted by the official SANA news agency said.

State media said a plastics factory was among the sites hit in the raids, which struck the towns of Hifa in Latakia and Masyaf in the neighbouring province of Hama.

Syrian air defences were activated to counter the Israeli missiles, with "some shot down", the report added, without mentioning any military casualties.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 14 fighters were wounded in strikes it said targeted government and allied pro-Tehran forces at several locations.

The Britain-based war monitor, which relies on an extensive network of sources on the ground, said arms depots were also targeted in the mountains on the border between Latakia and Hama provinces.

Latakia on the Mediterranean coast, a bastion of President Bashar Assad's Alawite minority, has seen relatively few Israeli strikes compared with other provinces.

In September 2018, Syrian air defences accidentally shot down a plane belonging to ally Russia — killing those on board — after being activated against nearby Israeli missiles.

Israel rarely confirms specific strikes in Syria, but its military has said it hit some 50 targets in 2020 alone.

Israel says it is trying to prevent Iran, which has been one of the Syrian government's key allies in the decade-old civil war, from gaining a permanent military foothold on its doorstep.

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