Mystery strikes hit Hezbollah near
Syria-Lebanon border: monitor

Pro-opposition media outlets claimed that Israeli jets conducted air raids outside Zabadani on Tuesday afternoon.


BEIRUT - A series of mysterious airstrikes have targeted Hezbollah positions outside a Syrian town near Lebanon’s border, according to a monitoring NGO tracking developments in the war-torn country.


The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported early Tuesday afternoon that “unidentified jets flying at a high altitude targeted the mountains west of Zabadani,” a town Hezbollah-led forces seized control of in the fall of 2015.


According to the monitor, four airstrikes targeted “the vicinity of two checkpoints [manned] by Hezbollah and regime troops” outside Zabadani.


The report added that “it’s unknown whether the raids were targeting the checkpoints,” in reference to an Israeli strike, or whether the jets were attempting to hit rebels trying to attack the Hezbollah-operated positions, which would imply a mistaken regime raid.  


Pro-opposition outlets, for their part, claimed that Israel conducted the attack, while pro-regime media made no mention of Tuesday’s incident.


“What appeared to be Israeli aircraft hit three Hezbollah checkpoints in the vicinity of Zabadani,” Orient News said, elaborating that the the Sandyan, Saroukhia, and Ain al-Ramleh checkpoint were all bombed.


“Ambulances were seen rushing to the sites,” the reported, mirroring other accounts circulating pro-rebel media.


Tuesday’s incident comes a week after Israel reportedly bombed two targets outside the Syrian capital, with Syrian state news reporting that its arch-foe thit the Saboura area west of Damascus.


A pro-Hezbollah outlet explained that Israel conducted two separate raids, one on a weapons depot belonging to the crack 4th Armored Division while the other hit a “number of cars near the Damascus-Beirut highway.


The outlet cited a source as saying that “no security or political figures” were targeted in the second strike, which appeared to hit an arms convoy.


Although Tel Aviv does not publicly acknowledge its strikes in Syria, top Israeli leaders have repeatedly warned that they will not allow the cross-border shipments of advanced weapons, including missiles, to Hezbollah in Lebanon.


NOW's English news desk editor Albin Szakola (@AlbinSzakola) wrote this report. Amin Nasr translated Arabic-language source material.

Syria's Zabadani. (image via Orient News)

What appeared to be Israeli aircraft hit three Hezbollah checkpoints in the vicinity of Zabadani.