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Israel says it has struck more than 50 Hezbollah targets in Syria since Oct 7

Israeli soldiers take part in training session near the Israel border with Syria at the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights

(This Feb. 3 story has been corrected to fix the overall number of targets struck, in paragraph 4)

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Israeli military said on Saturday that since the outbreak of the Gaza war on Oct. 7 it had struck more than 50 targets in Syria linked to the Iranian-backed Lebanese movement Hezbollah.

The remarks, in a briefing by chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari that mainly discussed efforts to beat back Hezbollah attacks launched in solidarity with Hamas, were a departure from Israel's usual reticence about Syria operations.

"Everywhere Hezbollah is, we shall be. We will take action everywhere required in the Middle East," Hagari said.

Israeli forces have attacked 3,400 Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, including 120 border surveillance outposts, 40 caches of missiles and other weaponry and more than 40 command centres, Hagari said. He put the number of enemy dead at more than 200.

Hagari said Israel had deployed three army divisions along its side of the Lebanese border in anticipation of Hezbollah getting involved after Palestinian Hamas launched a shock cross-border attack on Oct. 7, triggering the war in the Gaza Strip.

With tens of thousands of its northern residents having evacuated, Israel has threatened to escalate the Lebanon fighting unless Hezbollah backs off from the border - and has sought Western help in finding a diplomatic solution in Beirut.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Mark Potter)