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December 29, 2021 2:03 pm

Two Militia Members Killed in Israeli Strike on Syrian Port: War Monitor

avatar by i24 News

Smoke rises after Syrian state media reported an Israeli missile attack in a container storage area, at Syrian port of Latakia, Syria, in this handout picture released by SANA on December 28, 2021. SANA/Handout via REUTERS

i24 News – At least two members of a militia loyal to the Assad regime died of wounds sustained in an Israeli strike on the Syrian port of Latakia before dawn on Tuesday, a war monitor said on Wednesday.

“Two members of a pro-regime militia were killed in the Israeli strike,” the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. “They had suffered serious wounds and succumbed to their injuries.”

Three other militia members were wounded in the attack, which caused massive material damage, hitting stacks of containers in the port and setting off a blaze that emergency workers struggled to get under control.

The Observatory said that the cargo targeted in the strike was “arms and munitions.”

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According to the war monitor, Israel has conducted 30 airstrikes in Syrian territory this year, which the Israeli military justifies as necessary to prevent Iran from gaining a foothold in the region, including arming and training its proxies such as Hezbollah.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) says that Iranian meddling in Syria began soon after the civil war began there in late 2011 and early 2012 and has increased since then, which Israel sees as a threat to its security.

“Iran’s proxy forces, originally formed as support units, have gradually increased in numbers and importance, becoming crucial for the Assad regime’s survival,” the IDF stated on its website.

A total of 130 people, including five civilians and 125 loyalist fighters, were killed in Israeli strikes in Syria this year, according to Observatory figures.

Earlier in December, a similar strike hit Latakia, causing fires but no casualties, according to reports.

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