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Syria Monitor: Missile Attack Kills 26, Mostly Iranians

Syria Monitor: Missile Attack Kills 26, Mostly Iranians

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.

The Israelis are seeking Iran's reaction so that they could start an extensive conflict in Syria, Davod Hermidas-Bavand, a politics professor, told ILNA on Monday.

The working assumption is that Israel hit storage areas where Iran kept heavy long-range rockets for future use against Israel.

Officials in Tel Aviv issued the warning to Tehran less than a day after a reported Israeli missile strike on military bases in Syria, one of which reportedly resulted in Iranian military casualties. Syrian state television said the missile attacks took place at 10:30 p.m.

The sources said that remains of GBU-35 "smart precision missiles" - missiles that can pinpoint targets and provide a great deal of explosive power in a small amount of explosives - were found at the site of at least one of the bases hit. Haaretz reported on pro-Assad media also pointing to Israel.

Did Israel drop a tactical nuclear bomb on Syria? Israel is a possible culprit as the regime's warplanes struck an air base in the Syrian province of Homs earlier this month.

Tehran has sent thousands of Iran-backed fighters to back Assad's forces in the country's seven-year civil war.

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in Britain but monitors Syria through contacts there, said that the attacks on Sunday had killed at least 26 people, many of them Iranians.

The Syrian state news media confirmed the strikes, near the central city of Hama and near the northern city of Aleppo late Sunday, but did not provide a death toll.

Israeli Minister of Military Affairs Avigdor Lieberman said his country will keep operating freely in Syria.

The semi-official Iranian news agency Tasnim said no Iranian base had been hit or Iranians killed.

Israel immediately responded at the time with strikes against Syrian air defenses and Iranian "targets", hailing it as "the biggest and most significant attack the air force has conducted against Syrian air defenses" since the 1982 Lebanon War. Iran blamed Israel and threatened to retaliate.

According to Horowitz, the strike on the Taqsis base in Hama "is very significant" as "such factories that produce ballistic missiles could help Iran gain game-changing capabilities to be used in a potential confrontation with Israel, by significantly increasing the number of precision-guided missiles within Hezbollah's arsenal".

The Syrian army last week launched a wide-scale offensive on areas held by Syrian rebels and Islamic militants south of Damascus.

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