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Israel shells Hezbollah targets in Syria in latest escalation

The shelling targeted Hezbollah positions in southern Syria, local outlets reported, but the Syrian government notably has not commented.
Israeli fighters Lebanon

Israel reportedly shelled Hezbollah positions in southern Syria early Monday morning as its proxy conflict with Iran continues to play out.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Israeli ground forces fired more than 20 shells at targets west of Hadr in southern Syria’s Quneitra province. Militias close to Lebanese Hezbollah operate in the area, according to the observatory, which did not report any casualties.

Syria’s official news outlet SANA, which usually reports alleged Israeli strikes in the country, notably did not report the incident.

The pro-Syrian government Al-Mayadeen reported that Israeli tanks fired 12 shells into the area, causing no casualties. The pro-Syrian opposition Orient News reported that Israeli shelling caused casualties among pro-government militias and Hezbollah.

There were also reports by Arabic-language news outlets that the strike followed an official Hezbollah meeting with a senior Syrian intelligence official.

Israel’s public broadcaster Kann published video purportedly showing the attack that was circulating on social media.

Syrian journalist Nour Abo Hasan also reported that Israel dropped Arabic-language leaflets near the site of the shelling encouraging the Syrian Arab army to stop working with Hezbollah. “Cooperation with Hezbollah leads to damage!,” read the pamphlet.

Why it matters: Israel rarely confirms its overseas military operations but is suspected of regularly striking Syrian, Hezbollah and Iranian military targets throughout Syria. There have been a particularly high number of suspected Israeli strikes on Syria in recent weeks. Most recently, SANA reported on April 3 that Israeli missiles hit targets near Damascus. Another attack on March 31 resulted in the deaths of two Iranian officers.

Know more: The Palestinian armed group Hamas fired rockets from Lebanon into Israel on April 6 amid high tensions in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

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