Reports: Syrian air base destroyed in missile attack from sea

Unclear who is behind the attack on base located in stronghold of Assad's Alawites, but Syrian, Lebanese media accuse Israel; Channel 2 reports attack's target were S-125 surface-to-air missiles.

By YASSER OKBI
October 31, 2013 12:59
1 minute read.
Smoke rises from shell explosions in the Syrian village of al-Jamlah.

Shell explosion in Syria 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

 
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A Syrian air defense base near the port city of Latakia was completely destroyed on Thursday morning in a missile attack from the sea, Arab media reported.

According to reports emanating from the rebels seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, a large explosion occurred near the army base in Latakia on Wednesday night. Witness posted on Twitter that the explosion happened near coastal city Jableh, 30 kilometers south of Latakia, a stronghold of Assad's Alawites.

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It is unclear who is behind the explosion or its purpose. There were no reports of casualties.

Members of the Syrian and Lebanese media have charged that Israel is behind the attack. Israel's defense establishment has not responded to the report.

Channel 2 News reported that the attack's target was a S-125 surface-to-air missiles battery.

Satellite images of the area obtained by Channel 2 show the Russian-made Neva missiles, as well as a SA-3 missile battery, that also includes a command center with a radar to track the missiles' targets and broadcasting anthenas to track the missiles as they are launched. The missiles have a range of 35km. and a 70k. warhead.

Lebanese media also reported that six Israel Air Force planes flew over Ayta ash Shab, Bint Jbeil and Marjayoun in southern Lebanon overnight. Such reports are common in the Lebanese media.



Last week, Kuwait newspaper Al-Jarida reported that IAF warplanes destroyed a shipment of missiles that were to be delivered to Hezbollah near the Lebanese-Syrian frontier.

The paper’s story, which quotes a senior Israeli official, has not been confirmed by any other news source. It was also unclear whether the attack took place on Lebanese or Syrian soil.

Israel has reportedly launched at least three attacks against convoys that were said to be delivering arms to the south Lebanon-based Shi’ite organization.

JPost.com staff contributed to this report.

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