A missile strike on government bases in northern Syria has killed at least 26 people, most of them Iranians, a Syria war monitoring group said April 30.
The attack, which happened overnight on April 29, comes amid rising tensions in the Middle East between Israel and Iran.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), based in London, said the attack targeted a Syrian arms depot for surface-to-surface missiles and appeared to have been carried out by neighboring Israel.
Giant explosion in #Syria, measuring over 2 on the Richter scale, which local press are reporting as an Israeli air strike on the 47th military brigade compound in South #Hama, picked up on earth quake monitors in Lebanon and Turkey. Image from local press https://t.co/gAiBNFhSVK pic.twitter.com/xBmvADHDpw
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 29, 2018
At least 22 Iranians and four Syrians were killed in the strike that hit areas in both Hama and Aleppo, though the death toll may continue to rise. Around 60 others were also wounded.
The targeted strike comes just hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talked to President Donald Trump on the phone. A White House statement said the two leaders discussed the “continuing threats and challenges facing the Middle East region, especially the problems posed by the Iranian regime’s destabilizing activities.”
SOHR said they monitored “great human and material losses” after the rocket targeted Brigade 47, a military compound controlled by Iranian forces and Syrian forces in the southern countryside of Hama.
The observatory also noted that “no planes were noticed flying over the area at the time of the bombardment.”
The impact of the mysterious missile strike was reportedly so powerful that it registered as a small earthquake, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre.
A suspected 2.6 magnitude quake was detected in the same area as the attack just moments after it began around 10:30 p.m. local time.
Syria condemned the attacks as “new aggression” from its enemies, according to a Reuters correspondent in Riyadh.
Earlier that day, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ramped up the Trump administration’s rhetoric against Iran, offering support to Israel and Saudi Arabia in their standoff with Tehran.
WATCH: Joint statements by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, following their meeting this evening. pic.twitter.com/ZwkwXQ6cet
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) April 29, 2018
“We remain deeply concerned about Iran’s dangerous escalation of threats to Israel and the region and Iran’s ambition to dominate the Middle East remains,” Pompeo said after a nearly two-hour meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The United States is with Israel in this fight.”
Trump has set a May 12 deadline for his decision on whether to pull out of the controversial Iran nuclear deal.