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'Enemy rockets' strike Syria regime bases, says state TV

Youssef Karwashan / AFP | A Syrian soldier sits next to a poster of the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad at the entrance of the Wafideen Camp on April 12, 2018.

The Syrian army says “enemy missiles” have struck several military bases in the country’s northern provinces, state media reported Monday, without identifying the attackers.

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The official SANA news agency said the missiles targeted military outposts in the Hama and Aleppo countryside late on Sunday. It did not say who fired the missiles or whether there were any casualties or damage.

An opposition source said one of the locations hit was an army base known as Brigade 47 near Hama city, widely known as a recruitment centre for Iranian-backed Shiite militias who fight alongside President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

An intelligence source who closely follows Syria said it appeared that multiple missile strikes hit several command centers for Iranian-backed militias and there were dozens of injuries and deaths.

The strikes hit weapons warehouses, and further explosions were heard, the source, who requested anonymity, told Reuters news agency.

The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights monitor confirmed the firing of missiles, adding that "Iranian elements" were stationed at two of the targeted bases.

The Observatory could not immediately say whether there were any casualties, nor who was responsible for the missile strikes.

The report came amid heightened tensions in Syria after Damascus and its ally Iran accused Israel on April 9 of conducting deadly strikes against a military base in the centre of the country.

Israel has hit Iranian-backed militia outposts in the course of the Syrian conflict, targeting mainly Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah.

While Israel typically refuses to comment on its military operations, its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this month his country would continue "to move against Iran in Syria."

The Israeli government has said Iran is expanding its influence in a belt of territory that stretches from the Iraqi border to the Lebanese border, where Israel accuses Iran of supplying Hezbollah with arms.

Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed militias have a large military presence in Syria and are well entrenched in central and eastern areas near the Iraqi border.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS, AFP)

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