- Syria’s coastal city of Latakia, which hosts a large Russian naval base and military presence, has come under attack from an unclaimed missile strike that Syria attributes to Israel.
- An air battle took place as missiles streaked in and an ammunition depot and technical industry may have been hit.
- Russia has a large naval base in the area and a big nearby naval presence, and may have been involved in the fighting.
Syria’s coastal city of Latakia, which hosts a large Russian naval base and military presence, has come under attack from an unclaimed missile strike that Syria attributes to Israel.
“Air defences have confronted enemy missiles coming from the sea in the direction of the Latakia city, and intercepted a number of them,” Syrian state-run media said, according to Reuters.
Syrian officials blamed Israel for the strike, but Israel rarely takes credit for its air raids in Syria and has frequently fired missiles from outside of Syrian airspace before.
The strikes followed Israel releasing satellite images of Damascus International Airport and the palace where Syrian President Bashar Assad lives in a possible threat. Syria also blames Israel for a Sunday night strike on the airport.
Syria and Israel have fought wars against each other in the past and Israel has taken military measures to resist Iran’s influence and ability to transfer arms in southern Syria near Israel’s borders.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said missiles targeted ammunition depots of the technical industry institution in the eastern outskirts of Latakia, according to Reuters.
Here’s video purporting to show the strike:
Unlike the semi-regular strikes that hit Iranians-aligned forces in southern Syria, this strike hit an area rich with Russian forces and missile defences. In past US-led strikes, Syria has shown little proof that its air defence can actually fend off large-scale naval cruise missile strikes.
Russia recently concluded naval exercises in the Mediterranean near Latakia and maintains a consistent naval presence in the region.
So far nothing indicates Russian military bases have been targeted, but Syria-based correspondents have reported Russian air defences operating.
Russia has, since 2015, stationed warships at Latakia and operated some of the world’s top missile defences near Latakia. Video and photos claiming to show the air battle over Latakia show what look like massive surface to air fires with missiles streaking overhead, indicating a state military rather than a rebel or terror group.
#Tartus an hour ago. #Syria|n Air Defense Force's anti-aircraft guns were trying to target the cruise missiles launched by #Israel|i Air Force & artillery rockets launched by #Israel|i Navy from civilian ships in #MediterraneanSea pic.twitter.com/hDAodLrHKN
— Babak Taghvaee (@BabakTaghvaee) September 17, 2018
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.