U.S. Official: Israeli Warplanes Strike Missiles Allegedly Destined for Hizbullah near Syria's Latakiaإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Israeli warplanes have struck a military base near the Syrian city of Latakia, targeting missiles that might have been destined for Hizbullah, CNN quoted an Obama administration official as saying on Thursday.
An explosion at a missile storage site in the area was widely reported in the Israeli press, but an attack has not been confirmed by the Israeli government.
The target, according to the Obama administration official, was “missiles and related equipment the Israelis felt might be transferred to Hizbullah.”
The official declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the information.
Meanwhile, The Associated Press also quoted U.S. officials as saying that Israeli warplanes attacked a military target inside Syria.
An Obama administration official confirmed the attack happened overnight Thursday but provided no details.
Another security official said that the attack occurred in the port city of Latakia and that the target was Russian-made SA-125 missiles.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the attack.
Another U.S. official confirmed to Agence France Presse that "there was an Israeli strike" but gave no detail on the location or the target.
"Historically targets have been missiles transferred to Hizbullah," the official said.
Israeli government officials contacted by AFP refused to comment on the reports.
Lebanon's MTV quoted unnamed sources in Jerusalem as saying that Turkey was behind the Latakia attack, in revenge for the recent shooting down of a Turkish plane in the same area.
Earlier on Thursday, the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television quoted unnamed sources as saying that two Israeli airstrikes had targeted Damascus and Latakia on Wednesday evening.
The raids totally destroyed shipments of SA-8 surface-to-air missiles destined for Hizbullah, the sources said.
Al-Arabiya also quoted sources from both the Syrian opposition and regime as saying that a Latakia air defense base was targeted Wednesday night by a rocket fired from the Mediterranean Sea.
Israel's Channel 2 said a missile fired from a warship targeted a Russian S-125 missile system that has recently arrived at the Latakia military base.
Also on Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a series of explosions struck an air base in Latakia, a regime stronghold.
"Several explosions were heard in an air defense base in the Snubar Jableh area" on Wednesday, said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
He said the cause of the explosions is "unclear" and that no casualties have been reported.
A Syrian security source meanwhile told Agence France Presse that "a rocket fell near the base, causing a fire to break out."
In July, ammunition warehouses in the area were hit by rockets.
In May, Israel carried out two airstrikes inside Syria, and a senior Israeli official told AFP both targets were Iranian weapons destined for Hizbullah.