Israel Struck Weapons Shipment Meant for Iranian Militias in Syria's Latakia, War Monitor Says

Syria said Israeli planes attacked the Latakia port, with no casualties reported, in what a source said was the first time Israel had attacked the facility on Syria's Mediterranean coast

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Containers on fire at Syria's Latakia port, following an alleged Israeli strike, on Tuesday.
Containers on fire at Syria's Latakia port, following an alleged Israeli strike, on Tuesday.Credit: SANA

Syria’s military said Israeli warplanes fired missiles on the port of the coastal city of Latakia early Tuesday without inflicting any human losses. An opposition war monitor said the strikes targeted weapons shipment meant for Iranian militias in the country.

Syria’s state media quoted an unnamed military official as saying that several missiles struck the containers area in the port setting some of them on fire. The official gave no further details.

A source familiar with port operations said it was the first time Israel had attacked the facility on Syria's Mediterranean coast. Latakia, Syria's main commercial port, brings in a considerable amount of cargo from Iran, the source said.

SANA, Syria's state TV, reported that five explosions were heard in the port and a huge fire erupted in the containers area and fire engines have rushed to the port.

Ismail Hilal, the governor of Latakia, said firefighters had put out the flames and were working to cool the site, SANA reported.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based opposition war monitor, reported "heavy" material losses. A Syrian freelance journalist tweeted a photo of fire at the port, which he attributed to the attack.

At a meeting in Jerusalem on Tuesday with the leaders of Cyprus and Greece, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett alluded to Israel's covert actions against its enemies.

“We’re pushing back on the bad forces of this region, day and night. We won’t stop for one second. This happens almost daily. In the face of destructive forces, we will continue to act, we will be persistent and we will not tire," he said.

Two weeks ago, Syria’s military said Israeli warplanes had attacked army positions in the country’s central region early Wednesday, leaving two civilians dead and seven people wounded — six of them soldiers.

Israel has staged hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled Syria over the years but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations.

Israel has acknowledged, however, that it targets the bases of Iran-allied militias, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah group that has fighters deployed in Syria. It says it attacks arms shipments believed to be bound for the militias.

Hezbollah is fighting on the side of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces in the decade-old civil war.

Israel says Iranian presence on its northern frontier is a red line, justifying its strikes on facilities and weapons inside Syria.

Reuters contributed to this report

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments