BEIRUT: Israel launched strikes near the Syrian capital on Sunday, a war monitor said, two days after dozens were killed in strikes that fuelled concerns of a regional conflagration.

“At least four Israeli missiles targeted the area of the scientific research centre in Jamraya, Damascus, setting fire to the site,” the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, referring to a Syrian government facility.

The latest incident comes after the observatory said Israeli air strikes on Friday killed 52 people in Syria, including 38 soldiers and seven members of Hezbollah group. It was the highest Syrian army toll in Israeli strikes in past six months. Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria in past several years, but strikes have increased in past six months.

Earlier on Friday, “a rocket depot” was targeted near the Aleppo airport in northern Syria, according to the observatory.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah has exchanged near-daily fire with the Israeli army across the country’s southern border. “Syria and Lebanon have become one extended battleground from the Israeli perspective,” Riad Kahwaji, head of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, told AFP after the Friday strikes.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2024

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