A mysterious missile strike on bases in northern Syria Sunday night killed at least 26 people, mostly Iranians, according to the Associated Press.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the attack targeted a Syrian regime arms depot for surface-to-surface missiles. The attack, which is believed to have been carried out by Israel, killed 22 Iranians and four Syrians and wounded around 60 others. The death toll may continue to rises, as some base personnel are still missing.
The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported that rockets struck targets in both Hama and Aleppo.
The mysterious missile strike, which started around 10:30 p.m. local time, was reportedly so powerful that it actually registered as a small earthquake, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre. A suspected earthquake with a magnitude of 2.6 was detected in the area of the attack just moments after it began.
Sunday’s evening strike comes at a time of growing tension between Israel and Iran over the latter’s activities in neighboring Syria. Rockets devastated Syria’s T4 air base in Homs, killing a handful of Iranian military personnel earlier in April. Iran blamed Israel and threatened to retaliate.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned last Thursday that Israel would strike Tehran if Iran attacked it. He also stated that Israel will not permit Iran, which has sent thousands of troops into Syria, to establish bases from which it can fire missiles. His statements suggest that Israel may have played a role in Sunday evening’s attack on the arms depot, although the Israeli defense ministry has yet to confirm its involvement.
Syria condemned the attack as a “new aggression.”
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