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June 8, 2016 9:43 am

Israel Reportedly Strikes Syria for First Time Under New Defense Minister

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Israel Air Force planes. Photo: Israel Defense Forces.

Israel Air Force jets. Photo: Israel Defense Forces. – The Israeli Air Force carried out an airstrike over the weekend against a military installation south of Homs, according to a report on Tuesday by the Syrian website Zaman Al Wasl, which identifies with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The report said the installation is a base for the Syrian army’s air defense division and is also the location of its air-defense training school.

The Israeli planes bombed storage warehouses for Syrian surface-to-air defense missiles, destroying a considerable number and causing a great deal of damage, the report said. It also said the Israeli planes avoided targeting other air-defense systems located on the base.

The planes reportedly flew at a low altitude, likely to avoid being detected by radar, and were exposed to being hit by Syrian air-defense systems. According to the report, the Syrian defense establishment chose not to respond to the attack and did not try to shoot the Israeli jets down.

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Aside from the report by Zaman Al Wasl, no other sources in Syria or Arab media outlets reported the event. The alleged airstrike would mark the first such move by Israel under newly appointed Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who on Tuesday visited the Israel Defense Forces GOC Northern Command headquarters.

Following the visit, Lieberman said, “Today I heard briefings about this area, which is always a sensitive area. I can say that our northern border is in good, secure hands.”

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