National Security

Israel Defense Forces Blow Up Pro-Assad Militia Group In Syria

JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter

The Israel Defense Forces struck a base controlled by a pro-Syrian government militia Sunday, killing three and wounding two others, according a statement from the militia group.

The IDF air strike reportedly targeted the National Defense Forces, a militia group loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in the Quneitra governate early Sunday morning. The strike followed previous IDF strikes in Syria Friday, which occurred after projectiles landed in Israel’s Golan Heights. The projectiles were a result of errant fire, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Syria’s SANA news agency reported that the Israeli strike hit a Syrian government position “causing material damage.”

Israel has engaged in several strikes against Syria, its northeastern neighbor, since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011. Once of the most significant strikes took place March 17, when Israeli aircraft attacked Assad’s forces near Palmyra. The attack was one of the deepest inside Syrian territory since the war began.

The IDF has also targeted Hezbollah terrorists inside Syria. Israeli forces struck a Hezbollah convoy March 19, also in Quneitra.

Syria’s instability since the civil war has been a national security concern for Israel. Specifically, Assad’s alliance with Iran and Hezbollah has sparked concerns that an attack on the Israeli homeland may occur. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened an attack on Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor in February, causing Israel to issue a warning that it would target all of the group’s assets in Lebanon should such an attack occur.

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