DAMASCUS: An Israeli strike on Syria’s western coast wounded two civilians on Saturday, the Syrian defense ministry said.
“The Israeli enemy carried out an air strike” at about 6:30 am near the town of Al-Hamidiyah, the ministry said in a statement, identifying the locations hit as poultry farms, without elaborating.
The strike was conducted from the Mediterranean Sea, west of Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli, and “led to the injury of two civilians, including a woman”, the statement said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the targeted facility had previously been used to keep farm animals, but was now used by Lebanon’s Hezbollah – an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Iran, another ally of Assad, condemned the Israeli air strike.
“With its attacks, the Zionist entity is trying to portray Damascus as an unsafe city to obstruct the return of displaced Syrians,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said during a visit to the Syrian capital.
The port city of Tartus is home to Russia’s sole naval base outside of its territories. It provides Moscow with a critical beachhead in the Mediterranean and a strategic outpost on Nato’s southern flank.
Since the civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes against its northern neighbor.
Last month Israeli strikes on Damascus International Airport rendered its runways unusable for weeks.
Besides the extensive damage caused to civilian and military runways, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said the strikes had targeted nearby warehouses used as weapons depots by Iran and Hezbollah.
The Syrian war has claimed the lives of nearly half a million people and forced around half of the country’s pre-war population from their homes.