Up to three civilians were injured in alleged Israeli strikes on an onion factory, reportedly used by Iranian militias as a weapon and ammunitions depot, in Al Salamiya on June 24th, 2020, according to local sources.
The Times of Israel identified the strike location as being “an onion-processing plant and a cattle feed factory converted by Iranian forces into ammunition warehouses”.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that Israeli strikes targeted an onion factory, which was partially turned into a weapon and ammunitions depot by Iranian forces. According to the SOHR, “their destruction led to huge explosions that lasted for several hours, which caused panic and terror to the people and the flying shrapnel injured civilians.”
Nziv.net also reported that after the attack, “the sounds of ambulances rushing to the attacked site were heard. Confirmed reports confirm that there were casualties at the sites attacked.” In this specific strike, the cultural center was the alleged location of the strikes.
Based on what they identified as reliable sources, the SOHR wrote that the Russian forces had informed the director of the onion factory so that it could be evacuated before the Israeli strikes. According to the SOHR, “the Israeli airstrikes destroyed two of the hangars that were weapons depots, while the third remained, which was rented by a person to manufacture ‘chips’.”
@jamlyyyyy reported that three injured people that were hit by shrapnel were brought to the National Hospital in Salamiya, but the source did not specify whether the victims were civilians. Baladi News also reported three injured but stated that the victims were not identified.
According to Ynet News, an eyewitness told RT: “Everything happened very quickly, it was a matter of seconds. From the moment we heard the sound of the planes until the explosion, seconds, even moments passed. The blow knocked us down as we tried to go up to the second floor to check on the children.”
The regime-controlled Syrian Arab News Agency stated that, according to a military source, Israel targeted several locations in Salamiya and Saboura in Hama governorate at exactly 00:45 AM. The source stated: “As soon as the enemy missiles were discovered, our air defences dealt with them and worked to pursue them and targeted them and shot down a large number of them before [they could] reach their targets, damages were limited to materials.”
@thawraa_syrv posted photos of the cultural centre in the city of Salamiya, writing that it “was which was used by the Iranian militias as their headquarters, the images show its complete destruction as a result of the Israeli raids last night.”
Orient News reported that “activists from Al Salamiya stated that the aerial bombardment of the city was the first of its kind, and affected both the onion factory in the city, a military centre run by Iranian militias in Al Saboura (east of the city), and a military site on an archaeological road, indicating that these places may [have] contained large quantities of arms and ammunition, due to the massive explosions caused by the bombing.”
Orient added: “Although Assad’s media did not report any casualties in the Salamiyah area, activists confirmed that the Salamiyah hospital contained an unknown number of casualties due to the bombing.”
Baladi News wrote that a field source had told Russian press agency Sputnik that it was likely that the shelling came from the Al Tanf area, which is controlled by American forces. Earlier reports indicated that Israeli forces had started to use to base for strikes on the Syrian regime and Iranian militias.
In a special interview with News 13, the commander of the Ramat David base, Colonel III, did not confirm the attack, but agreed to say that “the goal is to reduce the Iranian military presence in Syria and all its elements that threaten the State of Israel.” They added they seven people were killed but did not specify if they were civilians or militants. A tweet from @yonibmen specified that of the seven killed were “5 Iranians and 2 Syrians killed in an Israeli attack in Syria, targets were attacked in the Hamat, a-Sahna and Swida areas in the south”.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
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Reports of the incident mention the Onion Drying Factory (معمل تجفيف البصل) being struck in the city of Al Salamiyah (سلمية), for which the generic coordinates are: 35.013944, 37.065056. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.