Rocket attack in northern syria: dozens killed

For the second time this month, Syria reports an attack on its military. State television reports 26 dead in Aleppo and Hama.

Heavy explosions on Sunday evening in the south of Damascus Photo: dpa

A rocket attack in northern Syria has killed 26 fighters loyal to the government, most of them Iranians, according to observers. The attack Monday night was apparently carried out by Israel, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights added. The target, it said, was a stockpile of weapons for surface-to-surface missiles at a base known as Brigade 47. Four Syrians were among the casualties, it said.

Syrian state television had reported attacks on military outposts early Monday morning. It was a "new aggression," it said. The projectiles had been aimed at positions in the rural regions of Aleppo and Hama. There was initially no information on casualties or damage – or on who was presumed to be responsible.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had reported loud explosions in the rural areas of Hama and in Aleppo province. In addition, positions near Aleppo airport had been attacked.

Brigade 47 is composed of Syrian government forces and Iranian forces. Tehran has deployed thousands of Iranian fighters to Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in the seven-year civil war.

Less than two weeks ago, there had been a similar report of airstrikes on military installations in the region around Homs and around Damascus. Subsequently, the Syrian military spoke of a false alarm. Earlier this month, seven Iranian military forces were killed by an airstrike at Syria’s T4 base near Homs. Syria, Iran and Russia blamed Israel for the attack. Israel did not comment.

On Sunday, Syria’s state-run Sana news agency had reported that Assad’s government forces had captured four villages in the east of the country held by the mainly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance. Later, however, the SDF again said that control had been regained over the entire area in Dair as-Saur in a counteroffensive. The SDF is backed by the U.S.-led military coalition and had ousted the Islamic State terrorist militia east of the Euphrates River in large parts. Syrian government forces have so far rarely advanced to the east side of the river.

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