Israeli raids inside Syria since 2013

Beirut (AFP) –


Israel has carried out numerous raids inside war-torn Syria since 2013, targeting regime forces and their allies Iran and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah.

Here is a recap of some of the major reported Israeli strikes, which the Jewish state does not always directly confirm.

- First strikes -

In January 2013 Israeli planes hit a surface-to-air missile site and military complex near Damascus suspected of holding chemical agents, according to a US official.

Israel later implicitly confirms the strike -- its first since the start of the Syrian war in 2011.

New raids in May 2013 strike a scientific research centre near the capital, a weapons depot and an aircraft unit, according to a diplomat in Beirut.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor which relies on a network of sources inside the country, says 42 soldiers were killed.

- Hezbollah hit -

In January 2015 a raid blamed on Israel near the demarcation line between the Syrian and Israeli-occupied parts of the Golan Heights kills six members of Hezbollah as well as a general from Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards.

Hezbollah figure Samir Kantar, who had spent almost 30 years in Israeli prisons, is killed in a raid near Damascus in December 2015, according to Hezbollah. The raid is blamed on Israel.

In March 2017 Israel says it targeted "sophisticated" weapons destined for Hezbollah near the central town of Palmyra.

In September that year Israeli jets fire rockets on a Hezbollah weapons depot near Damascus airport.

In December 2017 Israeli planes target the Jamraya scientific research centre in Damascus and a weapons depot belonging to the regime and its allies, according to the Observatory.

- Iranians targeted -

In February 2018 Israel hits Syrian and Iranian targets in a series of raids launched after an Israeli fighter jet crashes under fire from Syrian defences.

Israel says it is also acting after intercepting an Iranian drone entering its air space from Syria.

In April Syria and its ally Russia accuse Israel of carrying out a deadly dawn bombing raid on a Syrian military airbase, killing 14 fighters, including seven Iranians.

Later that month at least 26 mostly Iranian fighters are killed by missiles fired on regime military positions, according to the Observatory.

In May 2018 an overnight attack near Damascus that is also blamed on Israel kills 15 pro-regime foreign fighters including eight Iranians.

Israel carries out dozens more raids that month on what it says are Iranian targets and after Iranian rocket fire against the occupied Golan Heights. At least 27 pro-regime forces are killed, 11 of them Iranians.

On July 15 Syria accuses Israel of bombing a military position in Aleppo province. At least nine pro-regime fighters die, including three foreigners.

In a rare confirmation in September, an Israeli military official says the army has carried out some 200 strikes in Syria over the past 18 months against mainly Iranian targets.

- Strikes near Damascus -

In September Syria accidentally downs a Russian transport aircraft with a crew of 15 onboard when its air defences go into action against an alleged Israeli missile strike.

Israeli bombs hit several positions south of Damascus in November, including an area the Observatory says is believed to be an Iranian weapons depot near the capital.

Syria accuses Israel of strikes on December 25 near Damascus.

The official Syrian news agency SANA says air defences "intercepted hostile missiles launched by the Israeli warplanes" from over Lebanese territories, citing a military source.

The Observatory reports "an Israeli raid" that it says targeted arms depots southwest and south of Damascus belonging to Hezbollah or Iranian forces.

Russia's foreign ministry calls the alleged Israeli strikes a "gross violation" of Syria's sovereignty and Moscow also says they endangered two passenger planes.