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Airstrikes Hit Syrian Military Bases, Israel Suspected

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Overnight airstrikes targeted military bases in northern Syria.

At least 26 people are reported dead, mostly Iranian pro-Syrian government fighters, in the Sunday night attacks on the military bases in Hama and Aleppo, according to reports citing the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.  At least 60 fighters were wounded and some also remain missing, according to reports.

It is not known who carried out the airstrikes, though several news outlets pointed the finger at Israel, noting that Israel refused to comment on the attacks. The human rights monitor reportedly said that Israel is “probably” responsible. Israel generally neither confirms nor denies such airstrikes. Other media outlets blamed the United States and British forces for the attacks.

A military source said on state television Sunday night that “Syria is being exposed to a new aggression with some military bases in rural Hama and Aleppo hit with enemy rockets.”

On Sunday, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Israel would react if Russia delivered its S-300 advanced missile-defense system to Syria to help it protect itself against such rocket attacks.

“No doubt we will take the action,” Liberman told Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz during an interview on stage at the Jerusalem Post’s annual conference in New York City.

“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,” Liberman said. “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.”

Israel reportedly has in the past struck arms shipments to Syria from Iran, as well as the T-4 Syrian military base reportedly housing Iranian military installations.

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