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Israeli Drone Attack Reported in Syria; At Least 3 Killed


An Israeli drone attack in southern Syria killed at least three people Wednesday, while another Israeli airstrike targeting an outpost for a pro-Syrian Palestinian group in eastern Lebanon killed one fighter and wounded six members of the group, according to the Syrian government and an activist group.

There was no immediate comment from Israel, which has rarely confirmed airstrikes inside Syrian territory in the course of that country's civil war, now in its fifth year.

In a statement aired on State-run Syrian TV, the Syrian government said a pilotless Israeli plane struck a civilian car near the predominantly Druze village of Hader, killing three villagers.

Al-Manar TV, an outlet of Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group, said the strike targeted a car carrying members of the Syrian National Defense Forces, a militia that backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, near Hader. The village is surrounded by Syrian opposition-controlled territory.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed the attack killed three defense forces members and two Hezbollah fighters.

Hezbollah has sent thousands of fighters to help Assad's forces in the civil war.

In January, the Lebanese group accused Israel of carrying out an airstrike on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, which killed several Hezbollah members and a prominent Iranian general. Among the Hezbollah members was Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of Imad Mughniyeh, a top Hezbollah operative assassinated in 2008 in Damascus.

In neighboring Lebanon, meanwhile, an explosion occurred at a base belonging to a hard-line pro-Assad Palestinian group called the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, killing a Palestinian fighter and wounding six, the state-run National News Agency said.

Syrian state television said an Israeli plane had attacked the base Wednesday.

The National News Agency said the blast in the village of Qusaya, only few kilometers miles from the border with Syria, also destroyed two vehicles belonging to the PFLP-GC.

The PFLP-GC has several bases in Lebanon and has been targeted in the past by Israel's air force.

Some information for this report came from Reuters.