Syria says Israel launched missile attack on vital port

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Syria says Israel launched missile attack on vital port
© Provided by Al Jazeera Israel has staged hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled Syria over the years but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations [File: SANA/ AFP]

Syria’s military says Israeli fighter jets fired missiles on the Syrian port of Latakia, damaging containers but without inflicting casualties.

The attack took place at 1:23am local time on Tuesday (23:23 GMT Monday), the SANA news agency quoted a military source as saying.

The official said several missiles struck the container area in the port, setting some of them on fire.

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

It was a rare attack on the port of Latakia, a vital facility where much of Syria’s imports are brought into the war-torn country.

Syrian state TV reported that five explosions were heard at the port and a huge fire erupted in the container area and fire engines have rushed to the port.

The blazes have been extinguished it said.

There was no comment from the Israeli military.

Israel has staged hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled Syria over the years, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations.

Some of the strikes in the past have targeted the main airport in the capital Damascus.

Israel has acknowledged, however, that it targets the bases of Iran-allied militias, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, which has fighters deployed in Syria. It says it attacks arms shipments believed to be bound for the militias.

Hezbollah is fighting on the side of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces in the decade-old civil war.

Israel says Iranian presence on its northern frontier is a red line, justifying its strikes on facilities and weapons inside Syria.

On November 24, Israeli missile attacks 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 UK-based rights group said.

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