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CONFIRMED: Israel Launched Strikes On Syrian Missile Sites, Damascus

November 1, 2013

U.S. officials have confirmed that Israel struck Syrian missile sites in two different locations late Wednesday, reports CNN.

The sites, one near the port city of Latakia and another in Damascus, allegedly contained surface to air missile systems said to be slated for delivery to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The strikes took out SA-8 anti-aircraft missiles, The Times of Israel reports. The SA-8 system is a truck-mounted, and highly mobile, but with low-altitude and short range capabilities.


i24tvnews via Channel 2

The targeted anti-aircraft missile site near Latakia

The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post, citing satellite images obtained by Channel 2, reports that Russian-made Neva S-125 surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles and SA-3 missile battery — which also includes a command center with radar and antennas to track the missiles and their targets — were seen in the Latakia area.

S-125 missiles have an operational range of up to 9 miles and are equipped to take out small aircraft at a low to medium altitude. They were a favorite of Egyptians in the Yom Kipper War, and of Iraqis during the first Gulf War, The Times notes.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported a loud explosion in a Syrian army base and a  Syrian security official confirmed there was a strike.

The Times of  Israel cited Twitter users who said the blast occurred near  Snobar Jableh, just south of Latakia.

The pro-regime Syrian news outlet Dam Press reported that the site was heavily damaged but there were  no injuries.

Syrian, Lebanese, and Israeli news sources speculated that Israel carried out the strike from the  Mediterranean. The subreddit r/syriancivilwar has a rundown of all of the reports.

Arutz Sheva sources in Syria and Lebanon blamed  Israel for the strike.

The Lebanese government news agency reported that six Israeli  aircraft flew through Lebanese airspace along the coast north of Beirut on  Wednesday.

The Twitter user @RamiAlLolah  first reported that a strike had occurred, saying a missile from the sea was  seen hitting the facility and noting Israeli jets had entered Lebanese airspace  earlier in the day.

“During the night, we noticed much aircraft activity,” an eyewitness told a Lebanese Al-Mustaqbal news outlet. “At a certain  point, we were woken up by the sound of blasts and we saw a large fire and many  explosions at the agricultural institute. Military and security forces arrived  at the scene, put out the flames, and closed off the entire area for  kilometers.”

Israel has been suspected of bombing missile shipments suspected of  reaching the Iranian proxy group Hezbollah in Lebanon at least five times since  January.

Here’s a map of the entire region. The (A) indicates the port of Tartous,  which is the site of Russia’s only remaining international military  base outside of the former Soviet Union.

The strikes come after the bottom fell out of a deal for Russia  to upgrade Syria to S300 surface-to-air missiles, a long-range, high-altitude  version capable of taking out a civilian airliner.


CREDIT TO: Michael Kelley and Geoffrey Ingersoll / Business Insider

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