According to a long-standing tradition, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) hit Syria in a night attack. The Syrian Arab News Agency reported that Israeli fighter jets fired missiles on the Syrian port of Latakia.
None of the Israeli missiles, according were intercepted, and the strikes hit Syrian civilian targets only 20 kilometers from the Russian Hmeimim military airbase.
The attack took place at 1:23am local time, the SANA news agency quoted a military source as saying. According to the military source, the missiles came from the Mediterranean Sea. At least five explosions were reportedly heard at the port.
No casualties were reported as a result of the attack, but several containers were damaged, and a huge fire broke out in the port.
Shortly before the Israeli attack, a US military reconnaissance aircraft Boeing RC-135W was spotted during its hour-long flight along the Syrian coast. The US reconnaissance drones are not uncommon in this area. This time, Boeing RC-135W could collect data on the targets to prevent the interception of Israeli military aircraft.
The IDF officials are yet to comment on the issue. Israel has recently increased its attacks on targets inside government-controlled Syria, but it rarely acknowledges such operations.
The last such attack was carried out on November 24, when Israeli fighter jets hit an air defense base located some eight kilometers to the south of the city of Homs. An operational Soviet-made S-200 long-range air-defense system was likely the main target.
The recent attack on the port of Latakia is a rare case, as Israel is usually targeting military facilities in southern and western Syrian regions. Tel Aviv explains its operations with fighting Iran-allied militias, in Syria. However, military facilities of the Syrian Arab Army, including its air defence systems that pose a threat to Israeli jets and missiles, are often hit by the IDF strikes. Syrian civilians are also victims of these regular attacks.
The port of Latakia is a vital facility that links Syria with other countries, including Lebanon.
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