At least four members of the same family, including two children, were killed early Friday morning during an Israeli missile attack from Lebanese territory against the province of Hama, in western Syria, according to sources.
A Syrian military source who requested anonymity told Efe that the air action had caused the death of a father, his wife and two children, while injuring four other people, including two minors, and had destroyed three civilian houses in western Hamah.
The attack was launched from the airspace of the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, although "many" of the projectiles were shot down by the Arab country's anti-aircraft defences, according to the official Syrian agency SANA, citing an unidentified military source.
However, the Syrian Human Rights Observatory indicated that the targets of the action were five points where pro-Iranian militias and the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah are deployed, and that civilian casualties were caused by "the remains of missiles launched by the Syrian anti-aircraft defences".
According to the UK-based NGO, which has a wide network of partners on the ground, the dead are a married couple, their child and an elderly man, while it estimates the number of injured at one, a baby who is in a serious condition.
In the latest such attack in Syria, the eastern province of Deir al-Zur was the scene last week of the most deadly attack attributed to Israel to date on the territory of the Arab country, killing 57 government soldiers and pro-Iranian militiamen allied to Damascus.
At the end of December, Israel also launched missiles from Tripoli towards Syria, while its southern neighbour increasingly violated Lebanese air space.
Israel often attacks the targets of forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanese or Iranian Shiite militias allied with him, sometimes causing losses in their ranks, although it generally does not make public statements about them.
The Israeli authorities consider that the presence on the spot of forces from Iran or allied to its sworn enemy, as well as militiamen of its Lebanese rival, Hezbollah, constitutes a threat to their security.