Second Israeli strikes hit Syria as Trump calls for bombs to stop

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DAMASCUS, June 3, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Israel launched a second round of
strikes against Syria in 24 hours on Sunday, state media reported, as US
President Donald Trump called on Russia and Iran to “stop bombing the hell”
out of the war-torn country.

Syria accused Israel of targeting an airbase in Homs province, reportedly
killing five people, just hours after carrying out retaliatory attacks on
military and intelligence posts south of Damascus, killing 10.

“Our air defences thwarted an Israeli aggression and destroyed two of the
rockets that targeted the T-4 airbase,” a military source told state news
agency SANA said Sunday evening.

The remaining rockets “killed one soldier, wounded two others, and damaged
an arms warehouse,” the source added.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported five
killed, including one Syrian soldier, adding that a rocket warehouse was
destroyed.

In addition to the Syrian army, Iranian fighters and Hezbollah
paramilitary forces are also stationed at the airbase, according to the
monitor.

Hours earlier, Israel said it had carried out strikes in the province of
Quneitra, which includes the Golan Heights, most of which is occupied and
annexed by Israel.

It said the attack was in response to rare rocket fire from its neighbour
late Saturday.

Two rockets were fired from Syria at Mount Hermon in the Israeli-occupied
Golan Heights and one had been “located within Israeli territory,” the
Israeli Army said.

The Observatory said 10 were killed, including Syrian soldiers and foreign
fighters in the attack south of the capital.

– STOP! –

Late Sunday, Trump tweeted calling for an end to the bombing in the
jihadist stronghold of the northwestern region of Idlib.

“Hearing word that Russia, Syria and, to a lesser extent, Iran, are
bombing the hell out of Idlib Province in Syria, and indiscriminately killing
many innocent civilians.

“The World is watching this butchery. What is the purpose, what will it
get you? STOP!” he said on Twitter shortly before he departed for a state
visit to Britain.

As well as killing dozens of civilians, the recent bombardments by Syrian
and Russian forces allied to President Bashar al-Assad have pushed 300,000
people towards Turkey’s border, Syrian NGOs have said.

Meanwhile, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria, most
of them against what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah targets.

The country says it is determined to prevent its arch foe Iran from
entrenching itself militarily in Syria, where Tehran backs President Bashar
al-Assad in the country’s eight-year war which has killed more than 370,000
people.

The Jewish state insists that it has the right to continue to target
positions in Syria held by Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah out of self-
defence.

“We won’t tolerate fire at our territory and will respond forcefully to
any aggression against us,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said
Sunday, after the first strikes.

The attacks come amid soaring tensions between Iran and the United States.

The stand-off had been simmering since the US last year withdrew from the
2015 nuclear treaty which Iran reached with major world powers.

In recent weeks Washington has accused Iran of alleged threats and
deployed an aircraft carrier group and B-52 bombers to the Gulf.