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Israel stepped up its attacks against Syria once again, targeting military bases and positions where Iranian-backed forces are said to be deployed.
The escalation began on April 19, when the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) shelled two posts of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) located near the town of Saidi al-Hanout and al-Ahmar hill in the southern governorate of al-Quneitra. After the shelling, the IDF dropped leaflets with a warning to both the SAA and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which is allegedly active on the Golan Heights front.
On the same day, the IDF announced losing a tactical surveillance drone, an Elbit Systems Skylark, over al-Qunitra.
On April 24, the IDF struck an observation post of the SAA on Qurs al-Nafel hill in al-Quneitra, which overlooks most of the Golan Heights front. The post was reportedly targeted with ground-launched missiles, most likely Spike NLOS. The IDF also dropped leaflets after the strikes, warning the SAA against cooperating with Hezbollah.
Two days later, on April 26, it was reported that another tactical surveillance drone of the IDF crashed in al-Quneitra. However, this was not confirmed by the IDF.
On April 29, a series of Israeli airstrikes hit the outskirts of the central city of Homs. The targets included a fuel station located on a highway leading to the city, as well as al-Dabaa air base in the southern countryside of the governorate where Iranian military personnel and fighters from Hezbollah are known to be stationed. The Israeli airstrikes wounded three civilians and caused some material losses.
Another Israeli aerial attack targeted Syria on May 1. This time the targets were in the northern governorate of Aleppo. Targets included Aleppo International Airport, which was placed out of service, as well as a large complex of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) located near the town of al-Safira in the southern countryside of the governorate.
The SSRC develops and produces military equipment, including precision-guided missiles and drones, for the SAA and its allies. The center’s facilities were targeted by Israel on several occasions in the past.
The attack on Aleppo claimed the life of at least one Syrian service member. Five other service members and two civilians were also wounded.
The last wave of Israeli attacks came after a rapprochement between Syria and several other Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, and amid efforts to restore relations between the war-torn country and neighboring Turkey.
While the attacks are allegedly meant to prevent Iran from entrenching itself in Syria, they also appear to be an attempt to sabotage regional rapprochement with the country.