Hindustan Times (East UP)

Israel strikes Syria after nuke-site attack

- letters@hindustant­imes.com

JERUSALEM: A Syrian officer was killed and three soldiers wounded on Thursday in strikes launched by Israel after a missile was fired towards a secretive nuclear site in the Jewish state, a monitor said.

Since the outbreak of Syria’s civil war in 2011, Israel has routinely carried out aerial raids on the country, mostly targeting Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces as well as government troops. Its latest salvo was launched in the early hours of Thursday after a missile was fired from Syria towards southern Israel, where the Dimona nuclear reactor is located.

Sirens sounded in Abu Qrenat, a Bedouin village not far from the nuclear site, the Israeli military said, before it responded by striking multiple defence batteries across the border.

The exchange of fire comes less than two weeks after Iran accused its arch-foe Israel of “terrorism” following an explosion at the Islamic republic’s Natanz nuclear facility.

“A surface-to-air missile was fired from Syria to Israel’s southern Negev,” the Israel Defense Forces tweeted.

“In response, we struck the battery from which the missile was launched and additional surface-to-air batteries in Syria.”

The Syrian Observator­y for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the Israeli retaliator­y strikes killed a Syrian officer and seriously wounded three soldiers.

“An officer with the rank of a lieutenant in the regime’s forces was killed in the Israeli bombardmen­ts... targeting an air defence base in the Dmeir region east of the capital,” it said.

Syrian state news agency SANA said the Israeli fire came from the Golan Heights and was targeted “towards positions in the vicinity of Damascus”.

The strikes destroyed air defence batteries, the Observator­y said.

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