Syria says Israeli strikes kill nearly 40 near Aleppo

Mar 29: At least 36 people have been killed in air strikes near the Syrian city of Aleppo, reports say.

Syria’s state news agency cited a military source as saying Israeli strikes hit several sites at 01:45 on Friday (22:45 GMT Thursday).

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) says the targets were weapons stores used by Iran-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Israel’s military told the BBC it would not comment on foreign media reports.

Citing two security sources, Reuters news agency reports that five Hezbollah fighters are among the dead and gives a death toll of 38.

The defence ministry says civilians and Syrian military personnel were also killed.

The SOHR, a monitoring group with an extensive network of contacts in Syria, says “dozens” of others were injured.

The sites targeted are near Aleppo International Airport, it adds.

Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Israel has launched hundreds of strikes on Syria, mostly targeting groups allied with Iran, a significant backer of the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The strikes have increased since Hamas carried out the 7 October attacks and Israel began its retaliatory campaign to destroy the group in Gaza.

Hezbollah has also launched repeated rocket barrages against Israel from southern Lebanon.

The Syrian defence ministry said the new air strikes had coincided with drone attacks in Aleppo carried out by “terrorist organisations”, though it did not specify whether there had been any further casualties.

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