Quarterly Updates for (1 Apr 2019 — 30 Jun 2019)

               Israel continued bombing targets in Syria this quarter after Israel Defense Forces chief of staff and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted to bombing targets in Syria in January for the 1st time (see Israel 1 January- 30 March 2019). The 1st bombing this quarter was in April when Israeli jets, according to Syria, injured 6 Syrian soldiers and destroyed several buildings in the Hama Province. In May, Israel acknowledged bombing Syrian positions in Quneitra on 27 May, killing 1 Syrian soldier and injuring 1 other. On 1 June, a missile fired from Syria hit a ski resort in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing damage to a ski lift. Israel acknowledged that it had hit a target in Syria, which, according to Syrian media, killed 3 Syrian soldiers and injured 7 others. 2 days later, Israel, according to Syrian state media, hit the T-4 air base near Homs, believed to house Syrian, Russian, and Iranian military personnel and equipment. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an UK-based organization linked to the Syrian opposition, said that at least 5 were killed in the airstrike, including Syrian soldiers.

               While Israel continued its campaign in Syria, the remains of an Israeli soldier killed in 1982 were returned to Israel from Syria on 3 April. Russia played a role in retrieving the body, which was found in Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus. While Syria denied having anything to do with retrieving the remains of the Israeli soldier, Israel later in April released 2 Syrian Fatah operatives to Syria as a “gesture of goodwill.”