Israel Hits Iran-Backed Forces In Syria For First Time In Biden Presidency
In its first air strike against Iran-backed forces in Syria since the inauguration of President Joe Biden, Israeli air force hit targets near Hama, government and opposition sources reported Friday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a monitoring group based in London said at least five positions of Iranian-backed militias and the Lebanese Hezbollah were destroyed in these attacks.
The Syrian military said that a family of four died in the air strike, but SOHR attributed the civilian deaths to shrapnel from Syrian air defense missile fired at incoming air-to-ground missiles.
Israel has attacked hundreds of mostly Iranian targets in Syria in the past four years in a quest to limit the military presence of the Islamic Republic in the war-torn country. On January 13, Israeli jets carried out intense airstrikes in eastern Syria near the Iraqi border, targeting positions and arms depots of Iran-backed forces. At least 57 fighters were killed and dozens were wounded, according to SOHR.
The monitoring group has said it recorded 39 Israeli strikes inside Syria in 2020 that hit 135 targets, including military posts, warehouses or vehicles. Israel usually does not comment on or accept responsibility for the airstrikes.
The Trump administration had close cooperation and coordination with Israel for confronting Iran in Syria, and it is still not clear to what extent the Biden administration will support the policy.