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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Israel Strikes Beirut Again, Hits SyrianArmy Camp

BEIRUT -- Israeli helicopters fired missiles on Beirut's slums Friday in an effort to wreck the nerve center of Lebanese guerrillas. Witnesses also said the Israelis hit a Syrian army position and wounded at least 12 Syrian soldiers.


The Israeli air raid on Beirut -- the second on the Lebanese capital in as many days -- was in retaliation for Hezbollah guerrilla rocket attacks on northern Israel on Friday morning. Earlier in the day, Israel bombarded suspected guerrilla bases in southern Lebanon.


Witnesses said six rockets fired by Israeli aircraft struck a Syrian encampment on a seaside highway leading to Beirut International Airport. The Israeli army released a statement saying it "did not aim fire at a Syrian position." It said it would investigate the claim.


Witnesses said Syrian troops were firing anti-aircraft guns toward the Israeli helicopters at the time the base was hit.


The developments threatened to push the Middle East's two main foes into a major confrontation. Syria maintains 40,000 troops in Lebanon and is the country's real power broker. Israel's peace talks with Syria and Lebanon are deadlocked.


The reported attack on the Syrian military position came shortly after Israeli helicopters fired missiles on Beirut's Shiite Moslem slums Friday.


Up to six Apache helicopters fired six air-to-surface missiles on southern Beirut, the nerve center of the pro-Iranian group Hezbollah.


High-flying Israeli fighter jets provided cover for the helicopters as they swooped down to hit targets near the Beirut airport. A few minutes later, the aircraft returned to fire four more rockets at other nearby targets.


Earlier in the day, Lebanese guerrillas pounded northern Israel with rockets, and Israeli warplanes struck back by bombarding suspected guerrilla bases in southern Lebanon.


The guerrilla rockets, fired in retaliation for Israeli attacks on Thursday, wounded at least four people.