Israeli air strikes hit Latakia port: Syrian state media

Damascus (AFP) – Israeli air strikes hit the Syrian port of Latakia early Tuesday, according to Syrian state media, in a rare attack targeting key facilities.

“Around 1:23 am on Dec 7, the Israeli enemy carried out an air aggression with several missiles,” SANA news agency quoted a military source as saying.

“Our air defences repelled the Israeli aggression in Latakia.”

The attack targeted the port’s container yard, causing a number of containers to catch fire but without causing casualties, it said.

Photos published by SANA showed a fire in the yard but Syrian state television said later that firefighters had got the blaze under control.

Israel has said repeatedly it will not allow neighbouring Syria to become a launchpad for its foe Iran.

Since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes on Syrian territory, targeting government positions as well as allied Iran-backed forces and Hezbollah fighters.

On November 24, Israeli missile strikes in the west of Homs province killed five people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

In two separate Israeli attacks in October, five pro-Iranian militiamen were killed near the Syrian capital Damascus while nine pro-government fighters were killed near the T4 airbase east of Palmyra in central Syria, the Britain-based war monitor said.