Israeli Airstrikes Blast Syrian Military Bases
Israeli airstrikes conducted on Wednesday were carried out on two military bases in Syria. The strikes were confirmed by U.S. officials to CBS News national security correspondent David Martin.
The airstrikes both occurred near Damascus and the coastal city of Latakia. The presumed targets were missiles believed to be headed to Hezbollah militants.
During the attack CBS News confirmed that a Syrian air defense base near Latakia was reportedly destroyed. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported a loud blast and eyewitnesses tweeted about the base explosion.
Multiple Syrian and Lebanese sources speculated after that attack that an Israeli strike from the Mediterranean was to blame.
Earlier in the year Israeli airstrikes also targeted a shipment of missiles inside Syria. In May an Israeli attack destroyed a Syrian weapons warehouse where Iranian missiles were allegedly being kept. Those missiles, according to Israeli sources, were meant for a final destination in Hezbollah. The weapons would have been used to aid Assad’s forced in the Syrian civil war.
The CS Monitor notes that “Hezbollah is a close ally of the Assad regime and Syria is the main conduit for the supply of weapons to the Iran-backed Lebanese group. It has deployed thousands of crack fighters into Syrian battlefronts to aid the Syrian army’s fight against rebels.”
Previous attacks by Israel dating back to January 2013 involve the targeting of SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, Iranian-manufactured Fateh 110 surface-to-surface missiles, and military bases belonging to the Syrian army’s elite 4th Armored Division.
Israeli airstrikes have not been confirmed by Israel’s top officials, however, the country’s leaders have promised to attack Syrian bases if “game changing” weapons such as advanced missiles or air defense systems were discovered.
Flying into Lebanese airspace to carry out the bombings would be in violation of international law as posted by the United Nations.