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Syria alleges ‘Israeli aggression’ in Hama, four dead

DAMASCUS — Syrian air defenses confronted early on Friday “an Israeli aggression” in the region of Hama that killed four people from the same family, state media said.

Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria in recent years against suspected Iranian military deployments or arms transfers to Tehran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas and stepped up attacks in the final weeks of U.S. President Donald Trump’s rule.

Friday’s strikes, if confirmed, would be the first after President Joe Biden took office as Israel waits to gauge whether its biggest ally will review its strong support under Trump.

“At about four o’clock in the morning today, the Israeli enemy launched an aerial aggression with a barrage of missiles coming from the direction of the Lebanese city of Tripoli, aiming at some targets in the vicinity of Hama governorate,” Syrian state media said, citing a military source.

“Our air defenses confronted the enemy’s missiles and downed most of them,” the source said, without detailing the nature of the targets.

The Israeli military declined to comment.

A father, mother and their two children were killed in the strikes, and four other civilians were wounded, while three houses were destroyed, the Syrian military source said.

In previous statements, Israel has described its Syria strikes as necessary to protect its northern front from Iran. (Reporting by Kinda Makieh in Damascus, Nayera Abdallah in Cairo and Dan Williams in Jerusalem; Editing by Jacqueline Wong, Gerry Doyle and Andrew Cawthorne)

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