Israel strike targets Syrian army outposts in Homs province -state media

AMMAN (Reuters) -Israeli missiles struck a number of sites in Syria's Homs province, the Syrian army said on Wednesday, with local sources saying the attacks targeted Syrian army outposts and an airbase in the area.

Syrian air defense shot down a number of missiles, state media said, without giving details on the targets hit.

A military source later told state media that there were several casualties and people injured as well as damage to property.

State television showed ambulances rushing to the scene of a strike, where wreckage and debris lay from a building that was hit. Reuters could not verify the location of the site.

Since the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israeli civilians and soldiers, Israel has escalated its strikes on Iranian-backed militia targets in Syria and also struck Syrian army air defences and some Syrian forces.

The attacks targeted the Shuyrat airbase and several locations on the outskirts of Homs, according to a Syrian military intelligence source familiar with the matter.

Israel has for years carried out attacks on what it has described as Iran-linked targets in Syria, where Tehran's influence has grown since it began supporting President Bashar al-Assad in a civil war that started in 2011.

Fighters allied with Iran, including Hezbollah, now hold sway in vast areas in eastern, southern and northwestern Syria and in several suburbs around the capital.

(Reporting by Enas Alashray and Suleiman al Khalidi; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Deepa Babington)