DAMASCUS, Syria — Israel carried out an airstrike on a coastal Syrian village near the Lebanon border Saturday morning, Syrian state media reported. Two people, including a woman, were wounded.
The attack was the first since a June 10 Israeli airstrike on the international airport in the Syrian capital of Damascus caused significant damage to infrastructure and runways and rendered the main runway unusable. The airport was closed for two weeks and flights resumed on June 23.
State news agency SANA said Israeli warplanes flying over northern Lebanon fired missiles toward several chicken farms in the village of Hamidiyeh south of the coastal city of Tartus. The attack happened a few kilometers (miles) north of the border with Lebanon.
SANA said two people were wounded in addition to material damage.
Israel has staged hundreds of strikes against targets in Syria over the years but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations. Israel says it targets bases of Iran-allied militias, such as Hezbollah, which has fighters deployed in Syria fighting on the side of President Bashar Assad’s government forces and ships arms believed to be bound for the militias.
The Damascus International Airport strike marked a major escalation in Israel’s campaign, further ratcheting up tensions between Israel on one side and Iran and its Lebanese ally, the militant Hezbollah group, on the other.
The attack Saturday happened hours before Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian was scheduled to arrive in Syria to meet top Syrian officials.
Iran has been one of Assad’s strongest backers, sending thousands of fighters from around the region to help his troops in Syria’s 11-year conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced half the country’s pre-war population of 23 million.
A U.N. report last week said the conflict that began in March 2011 has killed more than 300,000 civilians.
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