Israeli air forces attacked the town of Homs in north-west Syria and Sahnaya, on the outskirts of Damascus, on Sunday midnight and early Monday, killing 16 civilians, including a child, and wounding another 21.
The attacks, unprovoked and in violation of international laws, were resisted by the Syrian forces. The SANA reported that several of the missiles fired by the Israeli air forces were intercepted. The Syrian government issued a statement, calling the attacks an attempt to support the “terrorists” (rebels/anti-state groups) in the country. Although Israeli officials refused to comment on yesterday’s attack, they have, on earlier occasions, issued statements justifying the attacks as a preemptive strike to prevent the alleged presence of Iran and Hezbollah in Syria. They have claimed that Iran is using Syria as a front against Israel. The Syrian government has denied these allegations.
The Israeli jets used Lebanese airspace and targeted Syrian military installments. However, they killed civilians instead. The Syrian defense forces intercepted some of the missiles.
Israel has been carrying out unprovoked attacks on Syria for years. On June 11, it attacked the southern city of Tal al-Hara. Last month alone, Israeli forces attacked Syria three times. In the first week of June, Israeli attacks led to the death of three Syrian soldiers near the Golan Heights. Previously, on May 26, another soldier was killed in an Israeli attack.
Most of these attacks target interior regions of Syria and are not limited to the border provinces. On earlier occasions, Israel has targeted Quneitra and regions surrounding Damascus, which lead to the death of civilians, as well as loss of property.
The Syrian government has so far refrained from any retaliation. The ongoing war in the country has left the government forces engaged in liberating the territories from the control of anti-government forces. The Homs and Idlib provinces are witnessing fierce fighting between the anti and pro government forces, and the Syrian government views the Israeli attacks as an attempt to weaken its move against the rebels and keep the nine-year war alive.
The war in Syria provides Israel with an opportunity to continue its imperialist policies in the region. Syria is one of the leading countries that has supported the Palestinians’ right to self-determination, and it has refused to have any diplomatic relationship with Israel. The Syrian Golan Heights were captured by Israel in the 1967 war and annexed in 1981, violating all international laws. In March, the Donald Trump administration unilaterally and illegally recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The Syrian government, facing a war at home, has been unable to resist all these moves.