In the wake of the escalating tensions in the Middle East, a series of Israeli air strikes in the Syrian city of Homs have resulted in the tragic loss of five lives, including three civilians, with injuries sustained by seven others. The casualties, as confirmed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, occurred predominantly in the Hamra neighbourhood of the city.
Strikes Launched from Lebanon
According to Syria’s defence ministry, the air strikes were launched from the direction of northern region of Tripoli, Lebanon, adding to the complexity of the geopolitical landscape. The ministry further stated that among the casualties were civilians, although specific numbers were not disclosed. The grim aftermath of the strikes was broadcasted on Syrian state television, depicting rescue efforts amidst the rubble of a collapsed building in Homs.
Contextualizing the Strikes: A Response to U.S. Actions
The strikes in Homs follow closely on the heels of recent actions by the United States, which carried out strikes against Iran-backed groups in Syria and Iraq in response to an attack on U.S. troops. Israel, too, has conducted several previous strikes in Syria, including two within the past week alone. These strikes resulted in the deaths of pro-Iran fighters, with one incident also claiming the life of an adviser from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
Escalation since the Gaza War
Israel’s air campaign in Syria has been escalating since the onset of the Gaza war on October 7. The primary targets have been Iran-backed forces and Syrian army positions, in a strategic effort to prevent Iran from establishing a stronghold in Syria. The Syrian civil war, a conflict that began in 2011, has resulted in over half a million deaths and caused the displacement of millions.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn