Israeli Warplane Strikes Syrian Military Base

Attack Reportedly Hit Weapons Headed To Hezbollah

By Reuters

Published October 31, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Syrian rebels and a U.S. official cited by CNN said on Thursday Israel had mounted a new attack on a Syrian military base but the Israeli government declined to confirm any strike.

CNN quoted an unidentified U.S. administration official on Thursday as saying Israeli warplanes struck a Syrian base near the port of Latakia, targeting missiles that Israel thought might be transferred to its Lebanese militia enemy Hezbollah.

One Syrian opposition source, a defector from air force intelligence with contacts in the Latakia region, said Israel struck a strategic missile battery near a village called Ain Shikak where President Bashar al-Assad’s forces kept long-range Russian missiles that are among their most powerful weapons.

“We’re not commenting on these reports,” an Israeli Defence Ministry spokesman said. The government has not commented publicly on at least three attacks on Syria earlier this year.

One Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he thought that Israel had indeed carried out such a strike. He stressed that he was not entirely certain, however.

Israel has repeatedly warned that it is prepared to use force to prevent advanced weapons, notably from Iran, reaching Hezbollah, which hit northern Israel with hundreds of rockets during a month-long war in 2006.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which collates reports from opposition activists, said late on Wednesday that there had been an explosion at an air defence base near Jableh, on the Mediterranean coast south of Latakia.

The Lebanese military said six Israeli jets had flown over Lebanese territory on Wednesday. Israeli aerial incursions over Lebanon are frequent, but such high numbers have in the past sometimes been an indication of military strikes against Syria.

Former Syrian intelligence agent Afaq Ahmad, a defector now in exile in France, told Reuters that contacts of his inside Syria, including in Latakia province, told him Russian-made ballistic missiles had been kept at the site that was attacked.

Noting Syria’s failure to retaliate after previous Israeli action, Ahmad said: “Israel knows Assad has lost the ability to respond … So it has been engaging in unannounced attacks on the weapons that could pose the most threat in the hands of Assad or if they are transferred to Hezbollah.”

Israel struck Syrian targets near Damascus in January and twice in May and was suspected of being behind the destruction of a naval installation near Latakia in July.

The Israeli government says Iran, the main sponsor of both Assad and Hezbollah, is arming the Lebanese group. Israel, which sees Iran as bent on destroying the Jewish state, has threatened to use force against an Iranian nuclear programe which Tehran denies is intended to produce atomic weapons.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.