An opposition source said one of the locations hit was an army base widely known as a recruitment center for Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias who fight alongside Bashar Assad.
By JPOST.COM STAFF
The Syrian army said on Sunday that rockets had struck several military bases in Hama and Aleppo countryside in what it said was new “aggression” by its enemies, state television said.
In a news flash, state television said the missile attacks took place at 10:30 p.m. local time. Earlier, state television said successive blasts were heard in rural Hama province and that authorities were investigating the cause.
“Syria is being exposed to a new aggression with some military bases in rural Hama and Aleppo hit with enemy rockets,” an army source was quoted as saying without elaborating.
Reports from the Syrian opposition said 38 regime soldiers were killed and 57 were injured in the attack, citing media outlets with connections to the regime.
An opposition source said one of the locations hit was an army base known as Brigade 47 near Hama city, widely known as a recruitment center for Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias who fight alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces.
State television did not give a location for the explosions but two residents contacted in eastern Hama countryside said the blasts came from a military base reported to be used by Iranian-backed forces.
Tensions have risen dramatically between the two arch-enemies following the infiltration of an armed Iranian drone into northern Israel which the IDF claims was on a sabotage attack mission against the Jewish State. In mid-April, a strike on the T4 airbase in Homs province blamed on Israel killed seven IRGC soldiers, including Col. Mehdi Dehghan who led the drone unit operating out of the base. Reports later surfaced that advanced Iranian Air defenses had been the target of the strike.
Earlier on Sunday Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman stated that the Jewish State would respond forcibly if any rockets are launched to Israel or Israeli jets.
“If someone thinks that it is possible to launch missiles to Israeli cities or our aircraft, no doubt we will respond and we will respond very forcefully,” he said at The Jerusalem Post conference in New York when asked by Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief of The Jerusalem Post.
“We will keep our freedom of operation in all of Syria. We have no intention to attack Russia or to interfere in domestic Syrian issues. But if somebody thinks that it is possible to launch missiles or to attack Israel or even our aircraft, no doubt we will respond and we will respond very forcefully.”
Liberman along with other senior Israeli officials have been warning of Iranian entrenchment on the Golan Heights, an area of key strategic importance for the Jewish State, stressing that it is a red line for Jerusalem.
Over the course of Syria’s eight-year long civil war Israel has publicly admitted to having struck over 100 Hezbollah convoys and other Iranian targets in Syria, while keeping mum on hundreds of other strikes attributed to it.
US President Donald Trump spoke by phone with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday to discuss “challenges facing the Middle East region, especially the problems posed by the Iranian regime’s destabilizing activities,” the White House said on Sunday.
The phone call followed meetings in Washington held by Israeli Defense Secretary Avigdor Liberman and the president’s national security adviser, John Bolton, as well as US Defense Secretary James Mattis, and preceded meetings between Netanyahu and the president’s new secretary of state in Israel. Those meetings focused on Iran, the officials said.
Anna Ahronheim, Reuters, Michael Wilner and Yasser Okbi/Ma’ariv contributed to this report.